Component of morality: A professional ethics perspective on moral motivation, moral sensitivity, moral reasoning and related constructs among university students

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Title: Component of morality: A professional ethics perspective on moral motivation, moral sensitivity, moral reasoning and related constructs among university students
Author: Myyry, Liisa
Other contributor: University of Helsinki, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Psychology
Helsingin yliopisto, Valtiotieteellinen tiedekunta, Sosiaalipsykologian laitos
Helsingfors universitet, Statsvetenskapliga fakulteten, Socialpsykologiska institutionen
Date: 2003-11-24
Language: en
Thesis level: Doctoral thesis
Abstract: The aim of this study was to investigate the relationships between different elements of morality, and assess them from the viewpoint of professional ethics. James Rest’s (1986) Four Component Model of moral behaviour served as the starting point to this work. According to the model, moral behaviour consists of four psychological processes: moral sensitivity (i.e., interpreting the situation), moral judgment (judging which act is right or wrong), moral motivation (values that guide individual’s behaviour)) and moral character (implementing skills). The model was broadened to include complexity of thinking used in solving moral problems, considerations of procedural justice as reflecting the content of moral judgments, and emotional empathy as a motivating factor in moral behaviour. The special focus was on the relation of value priorities to other components of morality, excluding only the moral character component. This thesis consists of four separate studies with correlational, interventional, and experimental designs. Four university student samples and additionally one literature sample were used. Value priorities were measured by the Schwartz Value Survey, moral judgment by applying Colby and Kohlberg’s (1987) moral judgment scoring to non-Kohlbergian dilemmas, complexity of thinking by using integrative complexity coding system (Suedfeld, Tetlock & Streufert, 1992) and emotional empathy by Mehrabian and Epstein’s Questionnaire Measure of Emotional Empathy. Additionally, a measure for moral sensitivity was developed. In sum, this study provided new evidence of complicated links and interactions among the components of the Rest model. The findings supported the pivotal role of value preferences in individuals moral considerations. The main results showed that the Self-Transcendence values were positively related to the other components of morality (moral sensitivity, complexity of thinking, and emotional empathy). On the other hand, the Self-Enhancement values had negative associations with moral components. It was stressed that to promote ethical development in the becoming professionals, the universities should pay attention to the value system they introduce to the students. Furthermore, to be effective, the professional ethics programmes should cover all the components of morality.
Description: Endast sammandrag. Inbundna avhandlingar kan sökas i Helka-databasen ( Elektroniska kopior av avhandlingar finns antingen öppet på nätet eller endast tillgängliga i bibliotekets avhandlingsterminaler.Only abstract. Paper copies of master’s theses are listed in the Helka database ( Electronic copies of master’s theses are either available as open access or only on thesis terminals in the Helsinki University Library.Vain tiivistelmä. Sidottujen gradujen saatavuuden voit tarkistaa Helka-tietokannasta ( Digitaaliset gradut voivat olla luettavissa avoimesti verkossa tai rajoitetusti kirjaston opinnäytekioskeilla.
Subject: professional ethics
value priorities
morality - empathy
integrative complexity

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