Published On: 27/10/2014|Categories: 2013–2017, Vol.35 (2014), Vol.35 (3)|

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The present study contributes to the unification of two major theories of moral judgment: Kohlberg´s stage theory and Anderson´s theory of information integration. The subjects were told about the thoughts of a burglar stealing something out of a car. These thoughts represented Kohlberg´s stage 3 and had three levels. In addition, stage 1 was represented by thoughts about the Personal Risk of being caught, and stage 4 by thoughts about the Societal Risk when everyone would do so. The thoughts were presented singly and in combinations (Friends´ Opinions x Personal Risk and Friends´ Opinions x Societal Risk). The subjects judged how many hours of social work the actor deserves as punishment. The data supported the averaging model of information integration theory, whereas Kohlberg’s theory has no way to handle the integration problem. Results in contrast to expectations from stage theory were, (1) the effect size of the stage 3 informer was very small compared with the large effects of the stage 1 and of the stage 4 informers the latter being larger than the former, (2) Personal and Societal Risk correlated positively not expected by Kohlberg´s stage theory.

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