Stephen Thoma1, W. Pitt Derryberry2, and H. Michael Crowson3 1Educational Psychology Department, University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL, USA 2Psychology Department, Western Kentucky University, Bowling Green, KY, USA 3Educational Psychology Department, University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK, USA

Researchers in the neo-Kohlbergian perspective propose three conceptual levels of moral understanding: general schemas, intermediate concepts and codes (Rest, Narvaez, Bebeau, & Thoma, 1999; Thoma, 2006). Located within Rest’s four component model (Rest, 1983), intermediate concepts are viewed as falling between the general “bedrock concepts” defined by Kohlberg’s stage system or Defining Issues Test (hereafter the DIT) schema scores, and surface-level ethical

codes that describe specific prescriptions and prohibitions (see Figure 1). For example, in the professions, intermediate concepts include topics such as informed consent, privacy, and professional autonomy. These concepts are typically the focus of professional education programmes and are described as central to the ethical life of a professional (Bebeau & Thoma, 1999).