Measuring moral judgement and the implications of cooperative education and rule-based learning
Dellaportas, Steven, Cooper, Barry and Leung, Philomena 2006, Measuring moral judgement and the implications of cooperative education and rule-based learning, Accounting and finance : journal of the Accounting Association of Australia and New Zealand, vol. 46, no. 1, pp. 53-70.
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The Defining Issues Test (DIT), developed by Rest (1986), measures a person's level of moral development using hypothetical social dilemmas. Although the DIT is useful for measuring moral development in social settings, it might not adequately capture an individual's moral judgement abilities in solving work-related problems (Weber, 1990; Trevino, 1992; Welton et al., 1994). In the present study, the moral judgement levels of 97 accounting students were measured over a 1 year period using two separate test instruments, the DIT and a context-specific instrument developed by Welton et al. (1994). The test scores are significantly higher on the DIT than the Welton instrument (between the instruments and over time), suggesting that accounting students use higher levels of moral reasoning in resolving hypothetical social dilemmas and lower levels of moral reasoning in resolving context-specific dilemmas. The difference in test scores was highest during cooperative education (work placement programme), implying that the environment is a significant determinant on students' test scores.
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