Journal of Adult Development

, Volume 10, Issue 3, pp 173–188

Structure and Content: The Relationship Between Reflective Judgment and Laypeople's Viewpoints

  • Anna Kajanne
Article

Abstract

A neglected research area involving the relationship between structure and content in thinking is explored in this study. Fifty-nine adults participated in initial (1986–88) and follow-up (1993–94) interviews on Reflective Judgment (RJ) dilemmas devised by Kitchener and King. An earlier study by A.-M. Pirttilä-Backman and A. Kajanne (2001) showed that Reflective Judgment mean scores were higher in the second interview round than those in the first. One of the Kitchener and King dilemmas on food additives was investigated further. In another study using the same data, A. Kajanne and A.-M. Pirttilä-Backman (1996) presented 4 categories of standpoints (Harmful, Safe, Both, and Neither) on food additives that were apparent in both interviews. A shift from the more clear-cut (Harmful and Safe) to the more moderate (Both and Neither) standpoints was detected between the 2 studies. The results of these two studies are utilized here in investigating the connection between form and content in thinking. In both interviews the mean stage scores on Reflective Judgment differed according to the standpoint taken. Stages 4 and 5 formed a dividing line: those under this line chose one of the clear-cut standpoints more often than those above it. Some contents were independent of the stage scores, but others were closely linked to them.

adults development Reflective Judgment structure and content 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Armon, C. (1993). Developmental conceptions of good work: A longitudinal study. In J. Demick & P. M. Miller (Eds.), Development in the workplace (pp. 21–37). Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  2. Armon, C. (1998). Adult moral development, experience, and education. Journal of Moral Education, 27(3), 345–371.Google Scholar
  3. Armon, C., & Dawson, T. L. (1997). Developmental trajectories in moral reasoning across the life span. Journal of Moral Education, 26(4), 433–453.Google Scholar
  4. Broughton, J. (1978). Development of concepts of self, mind, reality, and knowledge. In W. Damon (Ed.), Social cognition. New directions for child development (Vol. 1, pp. 75–100). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.Google Scholar
  5. Broughton, J. (1981). Piaget's structural developmental psychology. V. Ideology-critique and the possibility of a critical developmental theory. Human Development, 24, 382–411.Google Scholar
  6. Candee, D. (1976). Structure and choice in moral reasoning. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 34(6), 1293–1301.Google Scholar
  7. Carlston, D. E. (1991). Free association and the representation of complex cognitive structures. In R. S. Wyer Jr., & T. K. Srull (Eds.), Advances in social cognition: Vol. 4. The content, structure, and operation of thought systems (pp. 87–96). Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  8. Commons, M. L., Armon, C., Richards, F. A., Schrader, D., Farrell, E., Tappan, M., et al. (1989). A multidomain study of adult development. In M. Commons J. Sinnott F. Richards & C. Armon (Eds.), Adult development: Vol. 1. Comparisons and applications of developmental models (pp. 33–56). New York: Praeger.Google Scholar
  9. Edwards, C. P. (1986). Cross-cultural research on Kohlberg's stages: The basis of consensus. In S. Modgil & C. Modgil (Eds.), Lawrence Kohlberg: Consensus and controversy (pp. 419–430). London: The Falmer Press.Google Scholar
  10. Fischer, K. W. (1980). The theory of cognitive development: The control and construction of hierarchies of skills. Psychological Review, 87(6), 477–534.Google Scholar
  11. Fischer, K. W., & Bidell, T. R. (1998). Dynamic development of psychological structures in action and thought. In W. Damon & R. M. Lerner (Eds.), Handbook of child psychology; Vol. 1. Theoretical models of human development (5th ed., pp. 467–561). New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
  12. Fisher, A. (1991). Risk communication challenges. Risk Analysis, 11(2), 173–179.Google Scholar
  13. Fischer, G. W., Morgan, M. G., Fischhoff, B., Nair, I., & Lave, L. B. (1991). What risks are people concerned about? Risk Analysis, 11(2), 303–314.Google Scholar
  14. Flick, U. (1998). An introduction to qualitative research. London: Sage.Google Scholar
  15. Harvey, O. J., Hunt, D. E., & Schroder, H. M. (1961). Conceptual systems and personality organization. New York: John Wiley.Google Scholar
  16. Hermand, D., Mullet, E., & Rompteaux, L. (1999). Societal risk perception among children, adolescents, adults, and elderly people. Journal of Adult Development, 6(2), 137–143.Google Scholar
  17. Kajanne, A., & Pirttilä-Backman, A.-M. (1996). Toward an understanding of laypeople's notions about additives in food: Clear-cut viewpoints about additives decrease with education. Appetite, 27, 207–222.Google Scholar
  18. King, P. M. (1977). The development of reflective judgment and formal operational thinking in adolescents and young adults. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, University of Minnesota.Google Scholar
  19. King, P. M., & Kitchener, K. S. (1994). Developing reflective judgment. Understanding and promoting intellectual growth and critical thinking in adolescents and adults. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.Google Scholar
  20. Kitchener, K. S. (1978). Intellectual development in late adolescents and young adults: Reflective Judgment and verbal reasoning. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, University of Minnesota.Google Scholar
  21. Kitchener, K. S. (1986). The reflective judgment model: Characteristics, evidence, and measurement. In R. A. Mines & K. S. Kitchener (Eds.), Adult cognitive development (pp. 76–91). New York: Praeger.Google Scholar
  22. Kitchener, K. S., & King, P. M. (1985). Reflective Judgment scoring rules (Rev. ed.). Available from the authors.Google Scholar
  23. Kitchener, K. S., & King, P. M. (1990). The reflective judgment model: Ten years of research. In M. L. Commons J. D. Sinnot F. A. Richards & C. Armon (Eds.), Adult development: Vol. 2. Models and methods in the study of adolescent and adult thought (pp. 63–90). New York: Praeger.Google Scholar
  24. Kohlberg, L. (1969). Stage and sequence: The cognitive–developmental approach to socialization. In D. Goslin (Ed.), Handbook of socialization theory and research (pp. 349–480). New York: Praeger.Google Scholar
  25. Kohlberg, L. (1971). Stages of moral development as a basis for moral education. In C. M. Beck B. S. Crittenden & E. V. Sullivan (Eds.), Moral education: Interdisciplinary approaches (pp. 23–92). New York: Newman Press.Google Scholar
  26. Kohlberg, L. (1984). The psychology of moral development. New York: Harper & Row.Google Scholar
  27. Kohlberg, L., & Armon, C. (1984). Three types of stage models used in the study of adult development. In M. L. Commons F. A. Richards & C. Armon (Eds.), Beyond formal operations. Late adolescent and adult cognitive development (pp. 383–394). New York: Praeger.Google Scholar
  28. Loevinger, J. (1976). Ego development: Conceptions and theories. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.Google Scholar
  29. MacGregor, D. (1991). Worry over technological activities and life concerns. Risk Analysis, 11(2), 315–324.Google Scholar
  30. McGuire, W. J., & McGuire, C. V. (1991). The content, structure, and operation of thought systems. In R. S. Wyer Jr. & T. K. Srull (Eds.), Advances in social cognition: Vol. 4. The content, structure, and operation of thought systems (pp. 1–78). Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  31. Miller, M. (1994). Worldviews, ego development, and epistemological changes from the conventional to the postformal: A longitudinal perspective. In M. E. Miller & S. R. Cook-Greuter (Eds.), Transcendence and mature thought in adulthood. The further reaches of adult development (pp. 147–179). Lantham: Rowman & Littlefield.Google Scholar
  32. Muhr, T. (1991). ATLAS/TI: A prototype for the support of text interpretation. Qualitative Sociology, 14, 349–371.Google Scholar
  33. Perry, W. G., Jr. (1970). Forms of intellectual and ethical development in the college years. A scheme. New York: Holt, Rinehart, and Winston.Google Scholar
  34. Piaget, J. (1960). The general problems of the psychobiological development of the child. In J. M. Tanner & B. Inhelder (Eds.), Discussions on child development: Vol. 4. (pp. 3–27). Edinburgh: Tavistock.Google Scholar
  35. Piaget, J. (1969). The psychology of the child. New York: Harper Torch-books.Google Scholar
  36. Pirttilä-Backman, A.-M. (1993). The social psychology of knowledge reassessed. Toward a new delineation of the field with empirical substantiation (Annales Academiae Scientiarum Fennicae). Dissertationes Humanarum Litterarum 68, Academia Scientiarum Fennica, Helsinki, Finland.Google Scholar
  37. Pirttilä-Backman, A.-M., & Hakanen, H. (in press). How the origin of human life is constructed? In A. S. de Rosa S. Ayestaran & J. Valencia (Eds.), Social representations in the “social arena”: The theory towards applications. San Sebastian: Servicio Editorial University of Basque Country, Spain.Google Scholar
  38. Pirttilä-Backman, A.-M., & Kajanne, A. (2001). The development of implicit epistemologies during early and middle adulthood. Journal of Adult development, 8(2), 81–97.Google Scholar
  39. Rosenberg, M. (1965). Society and adolescent self-image. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  40. Selman, R. L. (1980). The growth of interpersonal understanding: Developmental and clinical analyses. New York: Academic Press.Google Scholar
  41. Tabachnick, B. G., & Fidell, L. S. (1996). Using multivariate statistics (3rd ed.). New York: HarperCollins College.Google Scholar
  42. Tinsley, H. E. A., & Weiss, D. J. (1975). Interrater reliability and agreement of subjective judgments. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 22, 358–376.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Anna Kajanne
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Social PsychologyUniversity ofHelsinkiFinland

Personalised recommendations