Care and Justice Moral Reasoning: A Multidimensional Scaling Approach

Sharon Lawner Weinberg, Nancy L. Yacker, Sonia Henkle Orenstein, Wayne DeSarbo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In contrast to Kohlberg's (1969) universal model of moral development, Gilligan's (1982) model posits the existence of separate patterns of moral development for men and women. The pattern for men, termed the “justice ethic,” is based on abstract concepts of justice, reciprocity, and individual rights. The pattern for women, termed the “care ethic,” is based on responsibility toward others and the preservation of relationships. The purpose of this article is to utilize a recently developed multidimensional scaling methodology to explore the underlying structure of moral reasoning responses to 12 moral dilemmas, developed on the basis of Gilligan's theory, and to relate that structure to individual difference characteristics. Results of findings and implications for future research are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)435-465
Number of pages31
JournalMultivariate Behavioral Research
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jan 1 1993

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Statistics and Probability
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)


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