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Educating Competencies for Democracy


Edited By Ewa Nowak, Dawn Schrader and Boris Zizek

While democratic ideals are cherished by many worldwide, practice and competence in democratic procedures and behaviors are fading. Educating for democracy involves teaching skills that contribute to the democratic ideals, such as fairness, due process, and respect for the dignity, rights, and autonomy of others. In this volume, researchers from throughout the world draw from the Dual-Aspect Theory, the Konstanz Method of Dilemma Discussion, and the Moral Judgment Test, developed by German psychologist Georg Lind to advance democratic competencies. Grounded in Lawrence Kohlberg’s theory of moral judgment, contributors report research at various levels of social engagement, such as schools, workplaces, governments, prisons, and communities, to describe how people can, and do, develop democratic competencies that hold promise for creating interactions and institutions that are just and fair.


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Part I: The Cognitive Competenciesin Research


Part I The Cognitive Competencies in Research Kristin Prehn Moral Judgment Competence. A Re-Evaluation of the Dual Aspect Theory Based on Recent Neuroscientific Research Abstract: Lind’s Dual Aspect Theory of Morality suggests that moral decision making does not rely only on the internalized understanding of social norms that are represent- ed as virtuous moral orientations, but also on the ability to apply them in a consistent and differentiated manner in varying social situations. In the following, I will first give a brief overview of current psychological models on morality. Second, I will introduce the neuroscientific approach to the study of morality, and, finally, I will present my own work comprising of a neuroimaging study on moral judgment using Georg Lind’s concept of moral judgment competence. Keywords: moral judgment competence, neural correlates, decision making, Georg Lind Moral judgment is defined as the evaluation of one’s own or some- one else’s behavior with respect to social norms and values consid- ered to be virtuous by a culture or subculture, such as not stealing or being a honest citizen (definition adapted from Haidt, 2001, p. 817)1. __________________ 1 For the sake of simplicity, I will not distinguish here between dilemmatic moral judgment (i.e., choosing the lesser of two evils) and moral decision making or socio- normative judgment (terms that refer to more simple tasks like the making of a deci- sion whether a presented behavior is violating a social norm or not) and will use these terms synonymously. I will also not distinguish...

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