Western Kentucky University

Poster Title

Differences in Factors Contributing to the Moral Judgment of College Students and Gifted Youth

Institution

Western Kentucky University

Abstract

In order to better understand moral judgment developmental differences and processes, this study examined gifted and college student samples. Considered were indices and scores from the Defining Issues Test (DIT), ACT scores, Attributional Complexity Scale (ACS), and a five-factor based Personality Descriptor Recognition Questionnaire (PDRQ). Compared in the current study was a sample of 101 college students with a sample of 93 gifted youth. In order to first account for any differences between samples, a multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA) was conducted. Revealed were significant differences favoring the gifted sample particularly for DIT, ACT, PDRQ Agreeableness low pole, and PDRQ Openness to experience high pole scores. In order to ascertain if ACS, PDRQ, and ACT/SAT scores contributed differently to DIT scores in each sample, Stepwise Hierarchical Regression models were conducted. For college students, two steps were revealed with ACT scores loading first and ACS loading second. For the gifted youth, three steps were specified with ACS scores loading first, ACT scores loading second, and PDRQ Conscientiousness high pole scores loading third. Taken together, these findings suggest college students rely on different raw materials in making moral judgments than do gifted youth and that such process differences may also contribute to certain advancements. This study therefore supports that contributions to moral judgment development should not be considered the same across varying demographics and encourages future efforts to understand populations prone to early advancement such as the gifted in the hopes of transferring gained knowledge to other populations.

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Differences in Factors Contributing to the Moral Judgment of College Students and Gifted Youth

In order to better understand moral judgment developmental differences and processes, this study examined gifted and college student samples. Considered were indices and scores from the Defining Issues Test (DIT), ACT scores, Attributional Complexity Scale (ACS), and a five-factor based Personality Descriptor Recognition Questionnaire (PDRQ). Compared in the current study was a sample of 101 college students with a sample of 93 gifted youth. In order to first account for any differences between samples, a multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA) was conducted. Revealed were significant differences favoring the gifted sample particularly for DIT, ACT, PDRQ Agreeableness low pole, and PDRQ Openness to experience high pole scores. In order to ascertain if ACS, PDRQ, and ACT/SAT scores contributed differently to DIT scores in each sample, Stepwise Hierarchical Regression models were conducted. For college students, two steps were revealed with ACT scores loading first and ACS loading second. For the gifted youth, three steps were specified with ACS scores loading first, ACT scores loading second, and PDRQ Conscientiousness high pole scores loading third. Taken together, these findings suggest college students rely on different raw materials in making moral judgments than do gifted youth and that such process differences may also contribute to certain advancements. This study therefore supports that contributions to moral judgment development should not be considered the same across varying demographics and encourages future efforts to understand populations prone to early advancement such as the gifted in the hopes of transferring gained knowledge to other populations.