Influence of Religion and Education on Moral Judgement

Morality & Education

How do people explain what's moral? Or what is right or wrong? Morals signify what is right or wrong and it mainly will depend on the cultural context. According to Lalonde in lecture, morality is the behaviour that individuals regard to be right or wrong, morality will depend on culture and as a result morals are culturally imbedded into a person in a specific geographical area. There were so many researches done on the topic of morality, but the key focus of this research is about how people residing in multicultural countries relate with other cultures around them and what they judge to be right or wrong. Morality has turned into a broad topic for most researches and it is not only fascinating but it is how it has developed but still shapes individuals behaviour regardless of where they are or who they are with. In recent discussion about morals, moral reasoning develops from childhood. Whenever a person exists into a specific society, mainly the he or she learns the morals associated with this culture. Society is a respected influence on morality thus, the conditions in-group favouritism and out-group derogation support this argument. In-group favouritism is associated with members in a particular group, whiles members outside the group are treated differently. Hence morality is due to the wrong and right behaviours where, members specifically groups' behaviours are perceived to be right and outsiders behaviours' are perceived to be wrong. This paper covers some literature reviews of other research study and a proposed study how religion and education influence moral judgements, methods been used and the conclusion.

Moreover, Larin, Geddes & Eva performed cross sectional study which compares moral judgments within two groups of students who underwent a physical remedy and was measured by 'Defining Issues Test' (DIT). According to Larin, Geddes & Eva, many researches have used Kohlberg's idea of moral reasoning which were criticised in many dimensions, so the results of the research had not been characterized under Kohlberg's theory but mainly on the religious influence on morality in testing different groups across cultures (2009). Within this research, two different groups of students in different cultures underwent a physical remedy and were tested after a period of energy. One band of students were from a western culture whiles the others were from an Islamic religious background (Larin, Geddes & Eva, 2009). The primary reason was to check the judgements made by students and also to determine how education influence peoples moral judgement. The two groups of students were presented with a moral dilemma and were tested how they'll respond in such a situation. It had been figured, DIT scores in the western culture increased while the DIT scores in the Islamic culture remain frequent over time. Therefore, education can influence peoples judgement in a western culture where there is absolutely no specific religious background however, not for folks who are associated with one religious body. Religion becomes the key element in shaping morals because the students were still confined to the morals of the religion and even education cannot change their judgments in anyway (Larin, Geddes & Eva, 2009).

In regards to the prior study, this study is also a cross-cultural study which also discusses morality predicated on the concept by Shweder, known as "the Big 3 Moral Ethics (CAD)" (Guerra & Sorolla, 2010). Ethic of Community, Ethic of Autonomy and the Ethic of Divinity has been used in so many researches in countries like India, Brazil, Japan, Philippines and USA and there have been a number of responses (Guerra & Sorrolla, 2010). The participants were British-born students across different ages, and Western European students, where in fact the research focuses on how people in similar settings respond differently on moral judgements. However, they introduced a fresh "novel approach by also measuring how ethics relate to approval of moral actions as right" (Guerra & Sorrolla, 2010) and how effective Shweder moral ethics proposed. Different students and their responses were categorized under the Community, Autonomy and Divinity Scale that Guerra & Sorrolla developed. The scale was designed in horizontal and vertical lines, where horizontal represented equality, whiles vertical was hierarchical system. Autonomy falls under both individualism and collectivism horizontal because all of them is from the notion of equality. Another relation was between divinity and community which is associated with vertical collectivism and the prediction was that British student will fall more on the individualism horizontal than the western Europeans who tend to be collective. The results were valid and this the study they proposed was proven and consistence across culture (Guerra & Sorrolla, 2010).

In addition, another study was conducted among students in Kuwait University, to be able to know the result of gender and education on moral reasoning. According to AL- Ansari, many literature reviews have mainly certified morals development therefore of education and in his study, 3 questions was constructed. First, what's the entire moral reasoning pattern for the students in Kuwait? Secondly, will be the gender variations in moral reasoning? And lastly, are there variations in the moral reasoning of students in higher or lower educational levels? Students were randomly selected in ages ranging from 18-24 and were categorized under freshmen, sophomores, juniors and seniors (AL- Ansari, 2002). The method used in this study was the short form of DIT and before the study all the participants were registered in a brief semester at the university. In order to consider different cultures, 3 different stories were used in the testing the moral reasoning of the student. Ultimately, the stage at which the students in Kuwait reason to make moral judgements reaches the conventional degree of Kohlberg's theory (AL-Ansari, 2002). There is also no difference in making moral judgements between the females and male, and lastly, there can be an effect on moral judgement when there can be an introduction of formal education (AL-Ansari, 2002). When all the reviews are put together, the primary focus is how morality has been influenced by the introduction of formal education.


The introduction of formal education into people's lives has influenced their responses on making moral judgement. The introduction of your brain into different cultural practises as a result of higher education, the more similar judgement a person has along with his or her other mates. However different cultures have different morals but as a person mingle with other cultures and study these varieties, the more open-minded they become to make judgements. This study is about how exactly individual from different cultures become similar in making moral judgements because of this of education.


Furthermore, I assembled about 20 immigrants from different cultures, such as Africans, Indians, Europeans and others who have been introduced to formal education but with different curricular. Their education was mainly based on their cultural activities and they were predicated on scholarships to keep their education in the bigger. I was able to gather these people based on a class I took at York know as English as another language. The incentive for this research was to help them learn English language, so we meet by the end of each semester to go over our activities and therefore I developed this study. It is a longitudinal study which is studying the same band of participants across a long period of time.


Introduction of formal education influence peoples moral judgements in a similar context.


The participants were given a questioner to answer after reading a moral dilemma. These participants were new in Canada but still had their morals associated with their cultures. The questions were what might you do if you were in such a situation and what do you think about the behaviour of person in the problem. Their answer was characterised under the 3 stages of Kohlberg's moral reasoning. Level 1: Preconventional, what is bad is determined by the physical consequences, Level 2: Conventional where morality is dependant on external standards such as what maintains the social order with regards to the family and society and lastly, Level 3: Post conventional where moral reasoning is dependant on internalised standards of abstract ethical principles regarding justice and individual rights. These students were studies across time with the similar moral dilemmas, thus throughout their first, second, third and final years. The study was quite effective and there have been tremendous results.


In the first year there was a number of responses between the participants but as more educated they became, the more similar they thought in their moral reasoning. Within their final years the majority of the participants gave answers which focussed more on the traditional level of moral reasoning no matter their backgrounds.


The hypothesis was shown to be right, thus the moral educated people become; the greater alike these are to make moral judgements. This research may not be valid because there might be other factors that influenced the responses of the participants.


Al-Ansari, E. M. (2002). Ramifications of gender and education on the moral reasoning of Kuwait University Students. Social Behavior And Personality: A GLOBAL Journal, 30 (1), pp. 75--82.

Guerra, V. M. & Giner-Sorolla, R. (2010). The city, autonomy, and divinity scale (CADS): A new tool for the cross-cultural study of morality. Journal Of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 41 (1), pp. 35-50.

Larin, H. M. , Geddes, E. L. & Eva, K. W. (2009). Measuring moral judgement in physical remedy students from different cultures: a dilemma. Learning In Health And Social Care, 8 (2), pp. 103--113.

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