Verbal Processing of the Defining Issues Test by Principled and Non-Principled Moral Reasoners

Journal of Moral Education 16 (2):117-130 (1987)

Abstract
Verbal processing of Defining Issues Test ratings were obtained from three groups chosen on age and education and criterial DIT scores. Principled and non-principled items were rated while thinking aloud, and sorted for their understand-ability and endorsement for decision-making. Verbal processing and objective sorting data together showed differences in understanding and endorsement responses of high-scoring philosophy graduate students and low-scoring conservative seminarians and ninth graders. Philosophers used more principled prescrip-tives overall, understood and endorsed principled items and understood and rejected non-principled items. Seminarians rejected principled and non-principled items, and used religious criteria in their processing. Ninth graders preferred principled items they could not fully understand. A case is made for online processing information of objective moral reasoning
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DOI 10.1080/03057240.1987.10753559
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