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Predictors of Moral Reasoning: Components of Executive Functioning and Aspects of Religiosity

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The aim of the current study was to determine whether components of executive functioning and two diverging aspects of religiosity (scriptural literalism and quest) are significant predictors of postconventional moral reasoning. An additional goal of the study was to determine whether components of executive functioning moderate the relationship between religiosity and postconventional moral reasoning. Postconventional moral reasoning was assessed using the Defining Issues Test, Version 2 (DIT2), which is primarily based on Lawrence Kohlberg's model. Results indicated that components of executive functioning, along with quest, were significant predictors of postconventional moral reasoning and were significantly correlated with each other. In addition, analyses demonstrated that the relationship between quest and postconventional moral reasoning was moderated by performance on the Comprehension subtest of the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale, 3rd ed. (WAIS-III), a measure assessing social awareness and general reasoning.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Philip Drucker and Rafael A. Javier, St John's University Center for Psychological Services and Clinical Studies, 8000 Utopia Parkway, Jamaica, NY 11439.

Publication date: 2007-03-01

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