Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)




Keith T. Checketts


The purposes of the present research were two-fold. The first purpose was the development of a test construction strategy by which an objective assessment device, based upon the unique goals of moral education within a specific school district, may be developed. The second purpose was the actual development of a psychometrically sound instrument based upon such goals. To accomplish these aims, seven interrelated studies were conducted involving a total of 775 subjects.

The rationale for the nature of the test was based upon the assumptions of the direct approach to moral education. These assumptions are that children should learn and exemplify in their behavior certain values that are viewed by the community as essential to adequate socialization. Such values have been indentified by educators of the Salt Lake City School District. Therefore, the goal of measurement was the development of a test that would discriminate students who exemplify these values in their behavior from. those students who do not. The instrument was developed for the assessment of groups to aid curriculum evaluation in moral education. Disclaimers are made regarding the assessment of individuals using the instrument.

The reported studies concerning the development of the test include: (1) the intial writing and field testing of the hypothetical dilemmas and alternative solutions used in the test, (2) the revision of the test based upon the field testing, (3) the item analysis and validation procedures, (4) the cross-validation of selected items, (5) an analysis of the content validity of the dilemmas that compose the test, (6) the establishment of the reliability of the test, and (7) an assessment of the effects of socially desirable response sets on test scores. In addition, normative data regarding test scores for each grade tested and a parent group were presented.

The instrument developed through these procedures is an objective group test, applicable to grades 5 through 12. A content validity study provided reasonable evidence that the dilemmas that compose the test are logically related to the value goals proposed by district personnel. Studies of the reliability of the test revealed reliability coefficients from .82 (stability) to .92 (internal consistency). The concurrent validity of the test was established by selecting items that discriminated between groups of students who were identified as either exemplary of the district values or non-exemplary of the district values. These items were then successfully cross - validated on an independent sample of similar criterion groups. In addition, two studies related to the effects of socially desirable response sets on test scores were conducted.

The limitations of the present research are discussed and suggestions for further research regarding the instrument are made.



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