Validation and Certification Procedure
for Translations of the Moral Competence Test*

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Last revision: March 23, 2021

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Validation Procedure | Submitting the MCT for Certification | Copyright Statement | Certified Foreign Language Versions | International MCT-Studies

* Formerly the MCT was called Moral Judgment Test (MJT). German: MKT instead of MUT

Before being used in research and evaluation studies, new translations of the MCT and new subtests must be submitted to a rigorous validation and certification procedure as outlines in Lind (2010). Only certified versions can be viewed as producing data that can be interpreted according to the Dual Aspect Theory of moral judgment and development, and can be compared with findings from studies with other language versions of the MCT. Please find a list of certified versions of the MCT below.

Validation Procedure

Sample: The standard validation study is done with a sample that contains subjects of four levels of education to maximize the size of true variance in the C-score. The education level of each sub-sample should be two years apart. This should help to produce a substantial variance in your validation sample. In a homogenous sample with to little variance of the C-score, the true variance of the C-score may be too small in relationship to the error variance, thus not allowing a reliable estimation of the MCT's validity.

New (Oct. 29, 2012): By "substantial" we mean that the inter-quartile range should be at least >20 C-points. Inter-quartile range is defined as the difference between the highest and the lowest quartile: Q75 - Q25. This should be checked on a regular base.

The validation sampling plan should look like this one:

Suggested Sampling Design for Cross-sectional Validation Study
Sample Size **
Level of Education Old New *
- 7th graders - 7th graders
  - 9th graders
- 9th graders - 12th graders
- 11th graders - First year college students
Total Number of Subjects

* Sample 2 is now the standard validation sample (June 22, 2003). The option for another design (sample 1) has been ommitted and the number of "educational levels"-groups has been increased from three to four to make the validation process more standardized. If this design cannot be realized one can modify it. However, if the resulting variance is not substantial, the findings may be inconclusive.

** To be taken from at least two different groups (classes, seminars etc.). Please sample from public education only (if possible). The required sample size has been increased from 20 to 40 because it seems advisable to include always two different schools and two different fields of study in the validation sample. Otherwise, the results can be too idiosyncratic for aparticular group studied.
I recommend to avoid extrinsic rewards (like money) for the participation in this study. The participation rate is mostly higher if the insgtrinsic values of this study is emphasized. Dealing with the dilemmas seems already to be self-rewarding to most people.

Application: The standard validation procedure involves group application of the standard form of the MCT (two dilemmas, standard ordering of items) without time pressure. Please indicate if your study deviates from this standard in any way. If you use the MCT as part of a larger test battery, please note that tiredness can lower the C-score. Therefore, you may want to present the MCT as one of the first tests.

For the criteria of validation see this paper: The Moral Competence Test. (Formerly called: Moral Judgment Test).

Submitting a new MCT for Certification

For submitting a new MCT for certification, the raw data of the validation study of the new version of the MCT must be send to the author of the MCT, Dr. Georg Lind, University of Konstanz (

Please send the following items through electronic mail:

  • Raw data in text format (without any formatting, also called Unicode, ASCII code or ANSI code) or in MS-Excel format (versions until 2007; no ".xlsx"). You may also use a Word table. The data for each unit (subject) must be on one row by itself; each variable must be delimited by a semi-colon (";"); no non-numbers should be inserted. If the data are stored in a statistical package, they may be exported from this in ASCII format, chosing proper options. If available, export also the variable names with the data.
    The file should contain all 26 items (variables) of the MCT. Besides this, the file should also contain a counter variable for each questionnaire (to be able to identify the original data if necessary), and variables for the level and kind of education, gender, and any other variable which can help to validate the data.
    Note: Please do not sort the MCT-items in any way! Sorting is prone to error and makes analysis more dififcult.

  • Names for each variable. Please use the standard names for the MCT items like W_P_2, standing for: Workers dilemma, Pro-arguments, Stage 2, and D_C_4, standing for: Doctor dilemma, Con-argument, Stage 4. This will help to identify the items by my electronic scoring program.

  • W_ENT; W_P_1; W_P_4; W_P_3; W_P_6; W_P_2; W_P_5; W_C_4; W_C_6; W_C_2; W_C_5; W_C_3; W_C_1;
    D_ENT; D_P_6; D_P_5; D_P_1; D_P_2; D_P_4; D_P_3; D_C_3; D_C_5; D_C_6; D_C_1; D_C_2; D_C_4;
  • Short description of the research design: Test instruction; gender, ages, and level and quality of education of subjects; numbers of total sample and subsamples. A description of the quality of education (aside from the level of formal education) helps to better understand the size of correlation with the C-score.

The validation data will be used only for certifying the new MCT version, and will not be published without the explicit consent of the author of the new or translated version.

Validated and certified versions of the Moral Competence Test (MCT); formerly called Moral Judgment Test (MJT) (protected area; please contact author)

Scoring and validating new versions of the MCT (protected area; please contact author)

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