Thesis

Responsibility : an aspect of moral judgment

This study of responsibility as an aspect of moral judgment focuses on the instruments that have been used to assess the construct of responsibility operationally. The philosophical definitions of responsibility range from duty or obligation to personal assumption of moral responsibility. Psychological theories and their assumptions regarding responsibility and moral judgment are presented from Piaget, Heider, Kohlberg, and Rest. Piagetian empirical studies center on intentionality as evidence of an underlying cognitive organization and its relationship to attribution of responsibility. Other studies of attribution of responsibility focus on Heider's continuum of responsibility and seek to take into account factors such as foreseeability and environmental justifications as well as intentionality. Kohlberg's emphasis has been on judgments of justice, but Rest points out that the concept of justice or fairness at each stage of the development of moral judgment indicates the way rights and responsibilities are determined. (See more in text)

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