An hilarious attempt to measure morality

This "philosopher" (below) is a chump who seems to know nothing of prior work in his field. He has attempted to reinvent the wheel and predictably come up with a very poor product. As someone who has written for the academic journals on both the philosophy and psychology of morality, perhaps I should put up a few notes on his work.

The best known attempt to measure moral development is of course that by Kohlberg -- which took the Piagetian approach of watching how children's moral ideas develop. Kohlberg's two "highest" levels of moral development were not however based on observation but rather on Kohlbeg's own liberal ideas. As such they are just an expression of opinion and are not in any way authoriative.

Then of course we have the work of Haidt, which is much more empirical and in many ways persuasive. I have recently discussed Haidt at length however so will go no further at this point other than to say that Haidt must be regarded as the leading authority in his field, albeit with some things yet to learn.

In the work of Steare (below), however, we see a reversion to the Kohlberg approach of "science" by opinion. And he seems to think that he has nothing to learn from research that others have done in the field. That double arrogance has led him into one large and very risible mistake. He appears blissfully unaware that the questions he asks are close to identical with the questions that psychologists use to detect lying (i.e. "lie scales" or "social desirability scales) so any correspondence of his conclusions to reality is purely coincidental. His arrogance has led him into naivety. He is a clown trying to make sense out of self-serving statements that are unlikely to be true.

So it is no surprise that he found that older women were more moral. In my studies too I have found that older women were more prone to to "faking good" (i.e. have high lie scale scores).
In the battle for the moral high ground, it seems we have a winner at last. A leading philosopher has claimed that women are more moral than men.

Professor Roger Steare developed the ‘Moral DNA’ test four years ago to measure both a person’s morality and the changes in their value systems when they enter the workplace.

Professor Steare said the results show that your gender and age are most likely to influence your morality – with women and the over-thirties proving the ‘most moral’.

Those taking the test are asked to rate a series of statements about their personal and work life – for example, whether their colleagues or family would say they were ‘honest’ or ‘competent’.

They then have to evaluate assertions about themselves, such as ‘I always honour people’s trust in me’ and ‘I am good at exercising self-control’. Those taking part then receive a report naming them as one of six personality types – Philosopher, Judge, Angel, Teacher, Enforcer or Guardian.

And he revealed that as we get older, we also appear to become more moral. ‘What stood out from the answers was that obedience decreased with age, while reason increased – a logical occurrence as we make the transition from youth to experience,’ he added.


1 comment:

  1. To set up as a standard of public morality a notion which can neither be defined nor conceived is to open the door to every kind of tyranny.


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