A Professor's Moral Thinking at the Abstract Level Versus the Professor's Moral Thinking in the Real Life Situation (Consistency Problem)

Sci Eng Ethics. 2011 Jun;17(2):299-320. doi: 10.1007/s11948-009-9190-x. Epub 2010 Jan 27.


We conducted an on-line survey to investigate the professor's idea of "morality" and then to compare their moral thinking at the abstract level with their moral thinking in the real life situations by sampling 257 professors from the University of Novi Sad. We constructed questionnaire based on related theoretical ethical concepts. Our results show (after we performed exploratory factor analysis) that the professor's idea of "morality" consists of the three moral thinking patterns which are simultaneously activated during the process of their abstract moral thinking. We have identified these patterns in the following manner: deontological, formal and subjective pattern. In addition, our results show that of the three, the subjective pattern is more activated than the other two during their process of the moral thinking at the abstract level. We also discovered that there is a statistically significant difference between professor's moral thinking patterns activation level at the abstract level and their moral thinking patterns activation level in the real life situation.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Data Collection
  • Ethical Analysis*
  • Ethical Theory*
  • Faculty*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Internet
  • Male
  • Morals*
  • Problem Solving / ethics*
  • Serbia
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Teaching
  • Thinking*