A hierarchical structural model of moral judgement is proposed in which a subject is characterized as occupying a particular moral stage. During development, the subject's characteristic stage progresses along a latent, ordered dimension in an age dependent way. Evaluation of prototypic statements representative of moral stages below a subject's current stage are assumed to follow a quasi-Markov simplex pattern, whereas higher level statements are evaluated in a homogeneous, nonhierarchical way. This hybrid developmental model of moral judgement converges with the usual simplex model if subjects reach the highest stage. Using a causal modeling approach, the model is applied in an empirical study of stage score correlations of Defining Issues Test importance ratings of moral issues.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Psychiatry and Mental health