Dedicated to Georg Lind, Ph.D.
Professor for Psychology








Ewa Nowak, Dawn Schrader & Boris Zizek, eds. (2013): Educating competencies for democracy. New York: Peter Lang. (426 pages)

"While democratic ideals are cherished by many worldwide, practice and competence in democratic procedures and behaviors are fading. Educating for democracy involves teaching skills that contribute to the democratic ideals, such as fairness, due process, and respect for the dignity, rights, and autonomy of others. In this volume, researchers from throughout the world draw from the Dual-Aspect Theory, the Konstanz Method of Dilemma Discussion, and the Moral Judgment Test, developed by German psychologist Georg Lind to advance democratic competencies. Grounded in Lawrence Kohlberg's theory of moral judgment, contributors report research at various levels of social engagement, such as schools, workplaces, governments, prisons, and communities, to describe how people can, and do, develop democratic competencies that hold promise for creating interactions and institutions that are just and fair." (back cover)

Nowak, E., Schrader, D. & Zizek, B. (2013). Editorial Preface: Can Democracy be Taught?

Frank, Horst (2013). Citizens of Konstanz as beneficents of the Konstanz Method of Dilemma Discussion.

"Abstract: Democracy, Lind claims, is an ambitious idea on how people can and should, design and regulate their social life, an idea that touches both the realms of the theory of the state and of individual morality on a high level. And the core problem lies precisely at the point between ability and obligation because many people in this country have grown accustomed to a democratic government. People get the impression that democracy and its moral foundations are granted. The question of how we can enable people lo live in a democratic way is one of the most important questions today." (p. 1)

Part I

The Cognitive Competencies in Research

Prehn, K. (2013). Moral judgment competence: A re-evaluation of the dual-Aspect Theory based on recent neuroscientific research.

"Abstract: Lind' s Dual Aspect Theory of Morality suggests that moral decision-making does not rely only on the internalized understanding of social norms that are represented as virtuous moral orientations, but also on the ability to apply them in a consistent and differentiated manner in varying social situations. In the following, I will first give a brief overview of current psychological models on morality. Second. I will introduce the neuroscientific approach to the study of morality, and, finally, I will present my own work comprising of a neuroimaging study on moral judgment using Georg Lind's concept of moral judgment competence." (p. 9).

"Conclusion. In this article, I took a look at current psychological models on moral judgment from a neuroscientific point of view, specifically introducing neuroimaging as a powerful tool to investigate the underlying decision making processes in the human brain . My primary concern, however, was to show how the use of existing theoretical models can fruit fully enrich cognitive neuroscience and to advocate well-informed neuroscientific research working in line with current psychological methods and ideas. This approach offers benefits for both areas of research. In particular, the data presented strongly supports Lind' s Dual Aspect Theory, suggesting that morality should indeed be considered both as a capacity and in terms of individual differences. Notably, the right DLPFC seems to play a key role in linking moral orientations to everyday decision making and behavior. Thus, the question is not only which processes are involved in moral judgment, but also how competently a decision maker can integrate emotional responses with rational reasoning processes sensitive to the context of the particular social situation he or she faces (cf., Talmi & Frith, 2007)." (p. 19)

Schillinger, M. (2013). Verifying the Dual-Aspect Theory: A cross-cultural study on learning environment and moral judgment competence.

"Abstract: This paper provides an overview of an extensive cross-cultural and cross-sectional study on moral development and the effect of one's learning environment among higher education students (Schillinger, 2006). The study was conducted during my time at the University of Konstanz in Germany as a member of Georg Lind 's research group. It was originally motivated by controversial findings from the Dual-Aspect Theory (Lind, 2008) in cognitive-affective research with the Moral Judgment Test. The aim of the investigation was to contribute to some still unsettled questions concerning the cultural (and empirical) validation of the Dual-Aspect Theory. The central question is whether, and in what way, moral competence development can be fostered by the learning environment of higher education." (p. 23)

Zhang Jing & Yang Shaogang (2013). The research and development of the Moral Judgment Test in China.

"Abstract: This presentation is based on looking back on research on moral cognition and moral judgment development in other countries, reflecting on the research in China in this field, and rationally analyzing the research findings and theoretical enlightenments of the Chinese moral judgment tests that were developed by Chinese scholars. Making use of Lind's MJT to determine the developmental status of Chinese adolescents' moral judgment competence and to affect this through education, should become an urgent and important task in present Chinese moral psychology." (p. 47).

Comunian, Anna Laura (2013). The cross-cultural construct validity of the Padua Moral Judgment Scale.

"Abstract : Based in part on the work of Gibbs, we constructed a new scale of moral judgment development in Italy, called the Padua Moral Judgment Scale. As a first step, we administered to representative samples of Italian respondents the Social Reflection Measure-Short Form (SRM-SF) of Gibbs et al. (1992), a production measure of moral judgment with an open-answer format containing eleven short answer items. These items address seven sociomoral values (contract, truth, affiliation, life, property, law, and legal justice). Subsequently, we derived specific moral issues from the answers of large samples of Italian respondents in order to create an objective test." (p. 59)

Bataglia, P., Schillinger, M. (2013). Moral segmentation in studies with the Moral Judgment Test in Brazil.

"Abstract: Analyzing Brazilian MJT data (Bataglia & Schillinger, 2002) separately in a retrospective study, we have noticed that all the samples had much better results in the Workers' Dilemma than in the Doctor 's Dilemma (i.e., Mercy Killing Dilemma). This phenomenon has been called moral segmentation (Wakenhut, 1972 [, Krämer-Badoni & Wakenhut, 1985, GL]). The purpose of the present paper is to present a history of our efforts at investigating the moral segmentation phenomenon in Brazil. Some possible hypotheses and explanations are presented below." (p. 71)

Leśniewski, Piotr (2013). Ethics and metaphysics. On some practical aspects of erotetic rationality.

"Abstract: 'How to live?' continues to be one of the essential issues in various contemporary educational contexts (Putnam, 1996, p. 22). The following question establishes an attractive framework for how to answer it: Should one return to some kind of morality or instead should one discover an entirely new moral code? We need logical competence to ask such questions at all. Let me show the relevance of logical competencies for moral reasoning by utilizing the erotetic logic." (p. 83)

Helkama, Klaus (2013). Change in moral judgment in medical school: The role of hierarchy.

"Abstract : The medical profession is a strong profession, and physicians are the most typical of all traditional professions. Professional socialization in medical school involves adopting the value hierarchy of the medical profession, internalizing such norms as collegiality and professionalism. Social science and business students also participated in our research. In our study, we found several indications of the influence of the strong profession on our respondent: we observed a convergence of the instrumental value hierarchies of our students toward the general medical student hierarchy, and other phenomena." (p. 97)

Brzezińska, Anna Izabela, Czub, T., Czub, M., Kaczan, R., Piotrowski, K. & Rękosiewicz, M. (2013). Postponed or delayed adulthood?

"Abstract: We present research findings concerning the transitional phase between late adolescence and early adulthood from the study conduct ed in the years 2010-2011. As demonstrated below, becoming adult in objective (taking on adult social roles - family and vocational ones) and the subjective sense (identity characteristics and identity status, feeling of being on-time or off-time) is closely related to the external factors around the individual as well as to her or his psychological profile. The completion of education seems to be crucial to enter adulthood. Following the analysis of our research findings, one can state, a delayed and/ or postponed adulthood phenomena occur s in the research participants." (p. 103)

Hamzah, Aswati & Binti-Zon, K. (2013). Identification and characterization of Malay students’ moral reasoning competencies.

"Abstract: The term moral competency conjures diverse meanings; it has been explored in different contexts, and researchers have applied various types of instruments and methods to understanding the moral reasoning ability of specific groups of people. Studies on other psychological aspects of the Malays have revealed that Islam and Malay cultural values have shaped the behavior and inner psychological aspects of Malay students. This article presents research among Malay students focusing on the basic structures of the Malays' moral reasoning competencies as well as illustrating the detailed attributes of the structure . The study also used a combination of approaches, drawn from Cognitive Science and Islamic Psychology, to uncover information on the unique characteristics of the Malay students' moral reasoning competencies." (p. 127)

Wester de Michelini, Jutta (2013). Discourse ethics, moral argumentation, and education for civic responsibility. A qualitative approach to Moral Judgment Test applied to young political scientists at a public university in Argentina.

"Abstract: This paper seeks to propose the thesis that some specific discourse ethical notions permit a more holistic and integral interpretation and comprehension of the results drawn by the MJT. With this cairn, we will present some results of an empirical study carried out with student's of the National University of Rio Cuarto, Argentina. Its original purpose was to understand the imaginations of female Political Science students regarding their responsibilities in a democratic society." (p. 147)



Part II

Educating Competencies


Scharlipp, Matthias (2013). Experiencing freedom and democracy at school: Konstanz Method of Dilemma Discussion.

"Abstract: The ambitious ideas of freedom and democracy immediately raise questions about the moral and democratic competencies of society's protagonists in everyday life, competencies that enable them to transfer their own perspectives of liberty and freedom (respect for human dignity, tolerance, justice and reason) into corresponding behavior. It is exactly this consistency and integrity of thinking, speaking, and acting that is the aim of the Konstanz Method of Dilemma Discussion." (p. 163)

Gross, Nadja (2013). Application of the Konstanz Method of Dilemma Discussion in French class and its impact on pupil well-being.

"Abstract: Georg Lind further developed a method for the support of the cognitive abilities that goes back to Moshe Blatt and Lawrence Kohlberg. and that became known with Lind's modifications, as the Konstanz Method of Dilemma Discussion. Its application to foster moral judgment competence has already been tested and confirmed numerous times. In particular, competencies such as the respectful handling of one other, listening to, getting to know and evaluating different arguments and opinions, and attempting to come to terms with difficult, realistic situations, are fostered. In my chapter, I report on the application of the KMDD in my French classes." (p. 173).

Malitowska, Anna (2013). How philosophical dialog with children improves the moral judgment and discourse competencies.

"Abstract: In this chapter, the development of the ability of reflection, encompassing creative and critical thinking, will be presented from the perspective of philosophical education (in particular "philosophizing with children "). Fostering this ability presupposes that the moral and philosophical education of children should achieve a balance between theoretical distance and practical engagement. First, I shall begin with a general remark about the distinction between descriptive and normative ethics and then indicate precisely how the scheme " distancing reflection - ethical justification" underlies the idea of philosophical and ethical education." (p. 185)

Taylor, Gerald Gilmore (2013). Dilemmatic logical reasoning competence in adolescent moral reasoning and development: A pilot training program.

"Abstract: This paper presents the results of a pilot interventional study in adolescent logical and moral reasoning competence. Ninety-nine middle school students in a large urban southwestern middle school in the United States who volunteered to participate in an after-school training program were pretested with Rest's Defining Issues Test (DIT-2) and then randomly assigned to one of three experimental groups: a formal logic group, a perception group, and a control group. Logic group subjects received a ten-hour educational intervention in formal logical reasoning with dilemmatic, conjunctive, disjunctive, and conditional argument forms." (p. 203)

Zizek, Boris (2013). Handling probation-seekers - With a new image of humanity towards a positive education.

"Abstract: The article is based on the assumption of the human as a probation-seeker. It firstly focuses on the general implications for professionalization of this positive image of humanity. I will exemplify these by showing their consequences for school class interaction. For instance, even the clowning pupil who disturbs the class tries to prove himself, though he does it with reference to the peer group and not to the community of the class . By considering this, the teacher will no longer have to interpret the disturbance as directed in particular against the class and will instead perceive the class clown's behavior as an attempt to prove him self. Secondly, the article tries to work out typical probation figures of pupils such as the class clown, the overachiever, the class representative and the wallflower. These pupil-probation-figures differ to the effect that their dominant reference in the first case is the peer group, in the second case the community of the class, in the third case both communities at the same time, and in the fourth case none of them. The analysis of class interactions at school see teachers express negative expectations with regard s to their pupils. Thus by taking the alternative perspective of viewing the pupil as a probation-seeker could constitute a positive education." (p. 219)

Mouratidou, Katerina (2013). Promoting students' moral development through physical education.

"Abstract: The idea that physical education and sports could promote moral competence was dominant in the 20th Century. As a consequence, two theories were formulated which stressed sports' relationship with education which in turn, influenced attitudes towards sports. School as an institution, and the classroom as a practical framework. are both important mediators for children's socialization; a student could experience and develop sympathy or fellow-feeling, benevolence, generosity, justice, toleration and mutual indifference." (p. 233)

Weber, Wolfgang G. & Unterrainer, C. (2013). Democratic education potentials in business organizations.

"Abstract: This research is influenced by Carol Paternan's (1970) Spill-Over Hypothesis: lf business organizations offer their employees possibilities and requirements for participatory, democratic, decision-making then, because such participation has an educative influence, the workers experience political efficacy. In the long run, they will transfer their readiness to bear responsibility and to act democratically to the larger society in which they demonstrate political engagement as active citizens. The researchers examine empirical findings concerning moral atmosphere and socialization in selected organizations." (p. 249)

Cern, Karolina M. (2013). Is a construction of life-worlds possible?

"Abstract: This chapter contains reflections on the relevance of the Konstanz Method of Dilemma Discussion from the philosophical perspective, especially in the context of Habermas , Alexy, and MacCormick. People can reasonably change their legal or political order to achieve the well-ordered society, but they cannot. at the same time, reasonably change the durable structure (hierarchy) of preferences in which the question of the good life holds. Can the KMDD contribute to the construction of their life-worlds?" (p. 265)

Ratzki, Anne (2013). Can a school system support or hinder education for democracy? A Comparison between the German and Swedish school system.

"Abstract: When we look at the German educational system, we realize that it violates the democratic principles in many ways . Teachers have great difficulties teaching heterogeneous groups of pupils and use many means to make their classes more homogeneous. Pupils with learning difficulties have to repeat class, they may be sent to a " lower" type of school or put in a lower set, even to specialist schools for slow learners. The author compares this situation to the Swedish educational system." (p. 279)

Hemmerling, Kay, & Scharlipp, M. (2013). The keys of cognition: Insights into moral and democratic education in prison.

"Abstract: With psycho logical methods, in particular with the KMDD, we create a learning environment in which offenders can have new experiences on the basis of this intervention and work through it discursively. In doing so, many of them discover their own moral principles. their sense of freedom of speech, and the benefits of recognition, mutual respect and freedom. In this way, offenders can somehow "reinvent" moral thinking and moral behavior for themselves. The regression of moral judgment competence can be diminished." (p. 287)



Part III

Developing and Living Democracy


Mockus, Antanas (2013). Morality is not everything: Bogotà also listened to the voices of law and culture.

"Abstract: This essay is organized into seven sections. First, the main thesis is introduced: Democracy depends on the differentiation and harmonization of three regulatory systems: law, morality and culture. Next the argument follows that public policies depend strangely on legal changes being accompanied by changes in moral and social rules. The other sections report on the legal, moral (also motivational) and cultural education of Bogotà citizens." (p. 305)

Wren, Thomas (2013). Civic virtue is not enough.

"Abstract: Civic virtue in the usual sense of that term is not enough. Societies also need even more basic norms including what I will be calling " foundational civic virtues." A decade ago Benjamin Barber listed three such virtues, to which I will add three others, partly for the same reason that Barber had, namely the evolutional character of democracy but also because political life is changing in important ways as modernity turns into globality." (p. 331)

Puka, Bill (2013). Democratizing democracy education.

"Abstract: Education in democracy requires that students learn the skills of social organization, social entrepreneurship. and social self-reliance separately from government. They should learn these lessons, not as citizens of a state, but as social partners in cooperation, acting as co-directors of the political state. Students also should learn to see the government as merely one of the social service institutions society constructs to do its bidding-and in certain limited ways. Government is part of the private sector." (p. 349)

Ferguson, Neil (2013). The universalization of western liberal democracy and the end of morality.

"Abstract: The Western liberal democracy project and cognitive developmentalist approach to understanding human morality share philosophical roots. Both liberalism and Kohlbergian ideas of moral development hold classical philosophies (e.g., Kant) at their core. Verily, some of the most vocal critics of the Kohlbergian approach to moral development criticized the theory on the grounds that Kohlberg confuse d liberal ideology with post-conventional reasoning, pointing out that this attachment to liberal ideology masks middle-class ideals and thus unconsciously defends exploitation (Sullivan, 1977). What impact do the liberal principles have on "natural" individual development and the evolution of societies?" (p. 367)

Lupu, Iuliana (2013). Moral competence and dogmatic religiosity.

"Abstract: Religiosity is not the only ideological system that can influence the cognitive and moral development, and religion, through its nature (relation to a higher, almighty power or deity) and functions (giving life a meaning, coping with the unknown and suffering), has a special significance. Given the fact that educational processes and dogmatic religiosity are two factors with opposite effects on the development of moral competence. we try to find out how they interact in the development of moral competence." (p. 379)

Rätz, Herbert (2013). What Is the morality of the esoteric? Or: What can you still believe in?

"Abstract: The term Esoteric comes from ancient Greek language and means secretly, hermetically, to affiliate to the inner circle. The principle of the Esoteric comes from the belief in progress (19th/20th centuries) and says: Everything is feasible. Esoterics are confident the present-day society, that among other things suffers from feasibility mania, lacks instinctive values. On the other hand, they hold their "emotionality" without reflecting their own feasibility-mania. This is why esoteric thinking is not compatible with rational democratic thinking." (p. 391)

Nowak, E. (2013). Democracy begins in the mind.

"Abstract: Education in democracy requires that students learn the skills of social organization, social entrepreneurship. and social self-reliance separately from government. They should learn these lessons, not as citizens of a state, but as social partners in cooperation, acting as co-directors of the political state. Students also should learn to see the government as merely one of the social service institutions society constructs to do its bidding-and in certain limited ways. Government is part of the private sector." (p. 399)