Appraisal and competence in moral judgment and behavior

Holt, S.B. / Published 1990 / Article

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Citation: Holt, S.B. (1990). Appraisal and competence in moral judgment and behavior. In K.E. Davis, (Ed.), Advances in Descriptive Psychology, Vol. 5 (pp. 173-197). Ann Arbor, MI: Descriptive Psychology Press.

Abstract: Moral judgement is conceptualized within the framework of Descriptive Psychology. This conceptualization provides a set of distinctions for a systematic understanding of moral development and shows that another way to study moral development is to evaluate the extent to which persons have acquired an ethical perspective. The judgement paradigm is used to show the relationship of an ethical perspective to behavior in general, and to distinguish forms of moral dilemma and moral criticism. A competence formulation of moral judgement is presented in contrast to the traditional approaches to moral development, and four components of this competence are described. Appraisal is discussed as it relates to competence in moral judgement and behavior. Finally, this conceptualization is discussed in terms of its implications for research and a general understanding of the systematic aspects of moral judgement.