The relation of political attitude to constraint-oriented and prosocial moral reasoning

Nancy Eisenberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Investigated the relationship between prosocial and constraint-oriented moral reasoning and liberal and humanistic political attitudes. 76 White middle-class 7th-12th graders from a Presbyterian church and a Jewish camp completed a 41-item political questionnaire and a written objective test of moral reasoning based on L. Kohlberg's (1969) conceptualizations. Chi-square analyses revealed that older Ss were significantly more liberal and humanitarian than younger Ss, and older Ss exhibited a significantly higher level of moral reasoning. Correlations between political attitude scores and moral indices partially supported the hypothesis that higher levels of moral reasoning are associated with more liberal and humanistic attitudes: Liberalism scores were significantly related to the prosocial, constraint, and combined moral indices; humanitarian scores were significantly related to the prosocial and combined indices, but not the constraint index. Further research is needed to determine whether findings generalize to other social strata. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)552-553
Number of pages2
JournalDevelopmental psychology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 1 1976


  • liberal & humanistic political attitudes, prosocial & constraint-oriented moral reasoning, 7th-12th graders from Presbyterian church & Jewish camp

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Demography
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies


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