Care and Justice Moral Orientation: A Scale for Its Assessment

Nancy Yacker, Sharon L. Weinberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A quantitative measure of adult moral orientation, based on the theoretical frameworks of Kohlberg and Gilligan, was developed to measure preference for “justice-” or ”care”-oriented moral thinking. The Moral Orientation Scale Using Childhood Dilemmas (MOS), a short, objective measure, presents adults with a series of dilemmas frequently faced by children, each followed by two care-oriented and two justice-oriented responses to the dilemma. The procedures for developing and scoring the measure are discussed, and validity and reliability data are presented. Used with both male and female social work and law students, as expected, the MOS shows males to be more justice-oriented in their moral reasoning than females who are shown to be more care-oriented. Moreover, in further agreement with Gilligan's theory that gender and experience, taken together, are related to moral reasoning style, male lawyers and female social workers are shown to have the strongest preferences.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)18-27
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Personality Assessment
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Sep 1990

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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