Differences in moral judgment on animal and human ethics issues between university students in animal-related, human medical and arts programs

Verrinder, Joy M., Ostini, Remo and Phillips, Clive J. C. (2016) Differences in moral judgment on animal and human ethics issues between university students in animal-related, human medical and arts programs. PLoS ONE, 11 3: . doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0149308


Author Verrinder, Joy M.
Ostini, Remo
Phillips, Clive J. C.
Title Differences in moral judgment on animal and human ethics issues between university students in animal-related, human medical and arts programs
Journal name PLoS ONE   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1932-6203
Publication date 2016-03-02
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0149308
Open Access Status DOI
Volume 11
Issue 3
Total pages 15
Place of publication San Francisco, United States
Publisher Public Library of Science
Collection year 2017
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Moral judgment in relation to animal ethics issues has rarely been investigated. Among the research that has been conducted, studies of veterinary students have shown greater use of reasoning based on universal principles for animal than human ethics issues. This study aimed to identify if this was unique to students of veterinary and other animal-related professions. The moral reasoning of first year students of veterinary medicine, veterinary technology, and production animal science was compared with that of students in non-animal related disciplines of human medicine and arts. All students (n = 531) completed a moral reasoning test, the VetDIT, with animal and human scenarios. When compared with reasoning on human ethics issues, the combined group of students evaluating animal ethics issues showed higher levels of Universal Principles reasoning, lower levels of Personal Interest reasoning and similar levels of Maintaining Norms reasoning. Arts students showed more personal interest reasoning than students in most animal-related programs on both animal and human ethics issues, and less norms-based reasoning on animal ethics issues. Medical students showed more norms-based reasoning on animal ethics issues than all of the animal-related groups. There were no differences in principled reasoning on animal ethics issues between program groups. This has implications for animal-related professions and education programs showing that students’ preference for principled reasoning on animal ethics issues is not unique to animal-related disciplines, and highlighting the need to develop student (and professional) capacity to apply principled reasoning to address ethics issues in animal industries to reduce the risk of moral distress.
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: HERDC Pre-Audit
Admin Only - School of Medicine
School of Medicine Publications
School of Veterinary Science Publications
 
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