DIT2: Devising and Testing a Revised Instrument of Moral Judgment

James R. Rest, Darcia Narvaez, Stephen J. Thoma, Muriel J. Bebeau

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

291 Scopus citations


The Defining Issues Test, Version 2 (DIT2), updates dilemmas and items, shortens the original Defining Issues Test (DIT1) of moral judgment, and purges fewer participants for doubtful response reliability. DIT1 has been used for over 25 years. DIT2 makes 3 changes: in dilemmas and items, in the algorithm of indexing, and in the method of detecting unreliable participants. With all 3 changes, DIT2 is an improvement over DIT1. The validity criteria for DIT2 are (a) significant age and educational differences among 9th graders, high school graduates, college seniors, and students in graduate and professional schools; (b) prediction of views on public policy issues (e.g., abortion, religion in schools, rights of homosexuals, women's roles); (c) internal reliability; and (d) correlation with DIT1. However, the increased power of DIT2 over DIT1 is primarily due to the new methods of analysis (a new index called N2, new checks) rather than to changes in dilemmas, items, or instructions. Although DIT2 presents updated dilemmas and smoother wording in a shorter test (practical improvements), the improvements in analyses account for the validity improvements.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)644-659
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Educational Psychology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1999

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