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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The development and testing of an Army leader intermediate ethical concepts measure
by Turner, Michael E., Ph.D., The University of Alabama, 2008, 332; 3373631
Abstract (Summary)

Traditionally, the assessment of professional ethics education has relied on context-free measurement systems to assess the effectiveness of ethics education. Recently, the use of such measurement systems has been questioned (Rest, Narvaez, Bebeau, & Thoma, 1999a; Hart & Carlo, 2005; Bebeau & Thoma, 1998). Following the view that profession-specific measures of ethical reasoning and judgment provide more useful information, this study describes the development and testing of the Army Leader Ethical Reasoning Test (ALERT), which targets the Army profession and measures the moral reasoning and judgment of USMA cadets at the intermediate ethical concepts level. The ALERT and the Defining Issues Test-2 were administered in a cross-sectional study with senior USMA cadets (N = 466), freshman cadets (N = 780), college seniors (N = 64), and college freshmen (N = 85).

Results from the study support the reliability and validity (content, construct, and convergent) of the ALERT. A 2 X 2 ANOVA identified a college type main effect on all three ALERT ranking indices, with the USMA sample scoring significantly higher than the college sample. Follow-up one-way ANOVAs showed differences between the USMA samples on the action choice ranking index and justification ranking index that were tending towards significant. These results provide supporting evidence for the ALERT's sensitivity to the effect of the USMA experience and one's military interest.

Feedback from individuals that have expertise in the area of professional military ethics education substantiates the content validity of the ALERT. Correlation analyses between the ALERT indices and the DIT-2 N2 score indicate significant but small positive correlations (r = .154–.290), providing evidence of convergent validity. Lastly, lending support for the ALERT's reliability, Cronbach's alpha coefficients for each index (total, action choice, and justification) were .79, .56, and .72, respectively. The ALERT is a prototype instrument, so further testing is warranted to provide additional evidence of its reliability and validity.

Indexing (document details)
School: The University of Alabama
School Location: United States -- Alabama
Source: DAI-A 70/09, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Educational psychology, Developmental psychology, Quantitative psychology, Cognitive psychology, Military studies
Keywords: Army, Army ethic education, Ethical concepts, Leader, Military profession, Moral development, Moral judgment assessment, Moral reasoning measure, United States Military Academy
Publication Number: 3373631
ISBN: 978-1-109-35352-5
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