Published On: 26/10/2012|Categories: 2008–2012, Vol.33 (2012), Vol.33 (3)|


This paper seeks to unify two major theories of moral judgment: Kohlberg´s stage theory and Anderson´s moral information integration theory. Subjects were told about thoughts of actors in Kohlberg’s classic altruistic Heinz dilemma and in a new egoistical dilemma. These actors’s thoughts represented Kohlberg’s stages I (Personal Risk) and IV (Societal Risk) and had three levels, High, Medium, and Low. They were presented singly and in a 3 x 3 integration design. Subjects judged how many months of prison the actor deserved. The data supported the averaging model of moral integration theory, whereas Kohlberg’s theory has no way to handle the integration problem. Following this, subjects ranked statements related to Kohlberg’s first four stages in a procedure similar to that of Rest (1975). Higher score went with larger effect of Societal Risk as predicted by Kohlberg’s theory. But contrary to Kohlberg’s theory, no age trends were found. Also strongly contrary to Kohlberg’s theory, effects of Personal Risk (Stage I) and Societal Risk (Stage IV) correlated positively

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