INVESTIGATIVE STUDY 1: Moral Reasoning
This investigative study gives you an opportunity to explore and understand the differences between moral reasoning of individuals from diverse cultural backgrounds (eg. Western/Eastern) and gender differences with reference to everyday moral dilemmas.
Please read the Investigative Study interview guidelines before conducting your interviews
Core article: Kohlberg, L., & Hersh, R. H. (1977). Moral development: A review of the theory. Theory into Practice , 16 (2), 53-59, DOI:10.1080/00405847709542675
The Interviewing Component of the Study
You need 4 participants in all in your study, over the age of 18 years. You will need to compare participants from 2 different cultural backgrounds, so choose two males and two females from 2 different cultures
In this study, you will conduct four interviews. These interviews are to be conducted individually – not group interviews. Please read the Investigative Study interview guidelines before conducting your interviews
Follow below steps to prepare for your study and record your interaction and observations:
1. Give a brief explanation to the study (you may use the one on the consent form), read the statements on the consent form to your participants, and fill in the necessary responses.
2. Keep your field notes at hand to record the information you obtain during the interview or to record your observations.
3. Record your observations on the data collection sheets along with any other field notes that you have.
4. Establish rapport prior to asking the below mentioned questions. Complete the demographic information first.
Provide a copy of the following paragraph to each of your participants and read the paragraph aloud to each of the 4 participants individually (If you are conducting interviews on Zoom you can screen share this paragraph):
“Two young men, who were brothers, had got into serious trouble. They were secretly leaving town in a hurry and needed money. Karl, the older one, broke into a store and stole a thousand dollars. Bob, the younger one, went to a retired old man who was known to help people in town. He told the man that he was very sick and that he needed a thousand dollars to pay for an operation. Bob asked the old man to lend him the money and promised that he would pay him back when he recovered. Really Bob wasn’t sick at all, and he had no intention of paying the man back. Although the old man didn’t know Bob very well, he lent him the money. So Bob and Karl skipped town, each with a thousand dollars”.
After you have read the above paragraph and have given some time to your participant to read the paragraph, ask the following questions and record the responses in data table-1.
Ask the following questions:
1. What in your opinion is worse, stealing like Karl or cheating like Bob; why is that worse? (Give the participant about 5 minutes/sufficient time to talk; note as much you are able to whilst they talk; avoid interrupting them).
2. What do you think is the worst thing about cheating the old man and why in your opinion is that the worst thing?
3. In general, why/why not should a promise be kept? Is it important to keep a promise to someone you don’t know well (Bob had no intentions of keeping his promise) or will never see again? Why/why not?
4. Why shouldn’t someone steal from a store? Should people do everything they can to obey the law? Why/why not?
5. Was the old man being irresponsible by lending Bob the money? Provide personal reasons for your answer.
(Assessment details continue on the next page)
RECORD INFORMATION ON YOUR DATA SHEET, AND USE IT TO ADDRESS THE QUESTIONS BELOW. THIS SHEET MUST BE PRESENTED IN YOUR APPENDIX.USE ONE DATA SHEET FOR EACH PARTICIPANT. DO NOT TRY TO FIT INFORMATION FOR ALL 4 PARTICIPANTS ON ONE SHEET
Demographics Participant-1 Participant-2 Participant-3 Participant-4
What is worse:
stealing or cheating?
Why is it worse?
What is worse about
cheating the old
Reasons for the
Is keeping your
from a store
Reasons for obeying
Personal reasons for
considering the old
man to be
Consider the following Questions in Writing/Reporting your study:
1. Based on your interviews, provide an account of moral reasoning described by your participants. Where applicable relate to theory and literature.
(This question is about your observations/data. Include a Figure or Table to support your response. This Figure or Table should not be all that is included in this section.)
2. Outline the similarities and differences in the responses of your participants across cultural backgrounds OR gender differences (depending on your participant sample) whilst discussing their moral understanding (refer to your data sheets). Also relate your answers to the core article Kohlberg & Hersh (1977).
(This question requires describing and analysing your findings, making links between your data to the core journal article, and your comprehension of the collected information in relation to the core article and previous literature).
3. Compare and contrast the description of everyday moral dilemmas and suggest the stage and level of moral understanding of your participants. Where applicable relate to theory, research and journal articles.
(This question requires discussion of your findings in relation to previous research and theoretical literature)
4. What do you conclude from your study?
(Provide a concise conclusion)
5. Reflect on the following questions at the end of your investigative study.
a. What are you trying to accomplish?
b. Did you succeed? Why? Why not?
c. What is the strongest aspect of this work? Why?
d. What aspect is most in need of reworking? Why?
e. Reflect on the cultural aspects of your Investigative Study process and any culturally responsive learning and skill development that emerged for you
(Provide separate responses for a-e)
YOUR FINAL CHECK LIST PRIOR TO SUBMISSION:
Make a final check of the following before submitting your work
o Is there an Introduction related to underlying theory in your final version?
o Have you answered all the 5 questions related to your study?
o Have you incorporated information from your readings?
o Have you referred to your first hand data collection sheets?
o Have you included information from your field notes?
o Have you included journal articles into your study so that inferences are supported in an academic manner?
o Do you have a separate conclusion at the end?
o Do your references have wide variety of information sources and resources (e.g. text, journal articles)?
o Have you answered the reflection questions separately?
o Checked that your word-count is inclusive of the reflection questions (2000-2500 words)?
o Is your formatting consistent with APA?
o Is your in-text referencing consistent with APA 6th ed?
o Is your reference list complete and consistent with APA (6th ed)?
o Are your Appendices including consent forms attached to the end of your report?
o Have you included your data collection tables (you should have 4, one for each participant)?
o Have you included all hand written or typed answers and interaction notes?