Cognitive Moral Development in Ethical Decision-making

Business Ethics

ISBN: 978-1-78973-684-7, eISBN: 978-1-78973-683-0

ISSN: 2514-1759

Publication date: 7 June 2019


Cognitive moral development, often referred to as moral reasoning, stems from the field of cognitive developmental psychology and moral psychology. Early work done by Jean Piaget studying the cognitive abilities of children to make moral judgments as they grow and mature created the foundation for the later work of Lawrence Kohlberg and James Rest in studying the moral reasoning abilities of adults. Thus, moral reasoning refers to the cognitive process of how a person reasons about ethical situations. This chapter will present the evolution of the use and validity of cognitive moral development/moral reasoning in determining how individuals resolve ethical or moral dilemmas. Further, more recent models and potential measurement of moral reasoning and ethical decision-making including our intuition and emotions will be discussed and suggestions regarding directions for developing methods to measure such cognitive and emotional (or intuitive) means by which individuals make difficult moral choices will be discussed.



Elm, D.R. (2019), "Cognitive Moral Development in Ethical Decision-making", Business Ethics (Business and Society 360, Vol. 3), Emerald Publishing Limited, pp. 155-177.

Download as .RIS



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019 Emerald Publishing Limited

To read the full version of this content please select one of the options below

You may be able to access this content by logging in via Shibboleth, Open Athens or with your Emerald account.
If you think you should have access to this content, click the button to contact our support team.