Master's Theses

Document Type


Date of Award

Spring 2013

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)




Dr. Janett Naylor


The current published research on authoritarianism and morality has used the DIT in an overly simplistic manner to predict opinions and actions within the dual process model, using principled moral development (P) as a continuous variable only without examining the influence of schema structure on authoritarianism, and vice versa (McFarland, 2010a). While using P as a continuous variable is advised in most research cases, the scale developers recommend using schema measures when examining the relationship of the DIT to other judgment measures (Thoma, 2006). By interpreting moral development and decision making as a linear construct rather than as a set of interlocking schema, this reductionism likely muddled the connection between Duckitt’s Dual Process Model and moral development, creating a simple model that mediated authoritarianism through P to predict prejudice (McFarland, 2010a). By examining the relationship between moral reasoning schemas and authoritarianism while controlling these factors, a much more complex model for meaningfully explaining how moral reasoning fits into Duckitt’s theories and McFarland’s research was found involving both moral reasoning level and the gender of the subject, ultimately supporting separate models for the genders. The research was also an extension of the validity studies for the moral schema views mentioned previously by Thoma and others, determining the applicability of schema theory to Duckitt’s model (Duckitt, 2001; McFarland, 2010a; Rest et al., 2000; Thoma, 2006).


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Copyright 2013 Clinton Luth

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