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Implications of emerging epistemic doubt for adolescent identity formation Boyes, Michael Clifford 1987

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IMPLICATIONS OF EMERGING EPISTEMIC DOUBT FOR ADOLESCENT IDENTITY FORMATION By MICHAEL CLIFFORD BOYES B.A., The University of B r i t i s h Columbia, 1978 M.A., The University of B r i t i s h Columbia, 1982 THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY in THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES (Department of Psychology) We accept t h i s thesis as conforming to the required standard UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA July 1987 ©Michael C l i f f o r d Boyes, 1987 4 In presenting this thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements for an advanced degree at the University of British Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make it freely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the head of my department or by his or her representatives. It is understood that copying or publication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my written permission. Department The University of British Columbia 1956 Main Mall Vancouver, Canada V6T 1Y3 Date j""c/ (L, ^O, /CcSrV DE-6(3/81) i i ABSTRACT This study was undertaken to evaluate the part which nascent skeptical doubt plays in shaping the course of adolescent social-cognitive development. Past attempts to relate the achievement of formal operations to the tasks of identity formation and other signature concerns of adolescence have yielded equivocal results. This failure is seen to be due in part to the " a l l or none" character often ascribed to formal operational thought. If formal reasoning is seen to be achieved in one piece, then there i s l i t t l e hope of accounting for the v a r i a b i l i t y within adolescent development by pointing to such a monolith. It is argued in this thesis that the intellectual changes which accompany the acquisition of formal operational competence set in motion a series of developments which seriously undermine the typical adolescent's previous sense of epistemic certainty. The epistemic model proposed in the thesis leads to the hypothesis that, in response to such doubts, young persons adopt one or another of three contrasting interpretive levels or strategies each of which then dictates much about their subsequent solutions to the problems of identity formation and commitment. To test these predictions, 110 high school aged young people were prescreened using a battery of Piagetian measures and classified as being either concrete or formal operational. Those subjects who were clearly classifiable (N = 70) were individually administered: (1) Adams' Objective Measure of Ego identity Status (OM-EIS) which permits classification of respondents into diffused, foreclosed, moratorium, and achieved identity statuses; and (2) The Epistemic Doubt Interview, which i i i i s comprised of 2 story problems and a semi-structured interview procedure, based on the work of Piaget, Perry, and Kitchener and King, and designed to i n d i c a t e both the presence of generic doubt and the respondent's c h a r a c t e r i s t i c coping strategy for dealing with such u n c e r t a i n t i e s . These include r e a l i s t i c , dogmatic, s k e p t i c a l , and r a t i o n a l epistemic stances. The r e s u l t s i n d i c a t e that the young people selected on the basis of the cogntive developmental screening procedures could be r e l i a b l y and exhaustively assigned to a sing l e epistemic l e v e l or to a modal and a si n g l e developmentally adjacent l e v e l . Only formal operational subjects appreciated the generic nature of the doubt undermining t h e i r epistemic c e r t a i n t y while the concrete operational subjects were l a r g e l y confined to the ranks of the epistemic r e a l i s t s . Predictions regarding the anti c i p a t e d r e l a t i o n between epistemic stance and ego i d e n t i t y status were supported. V i r t u a l l y a l l of the subjects scored as epistemic r e a l i s t s were found i n the d i f f u s i o n and foreclosure statuses. Of those subjects who evidenced an appreciation of the generic nature of doubt, only epistemic dogmatists were scored as foreclosed. Only subjects scored as epistemic skeptics or r a t i o n a l i s t s were r o u t i n e l y found to be i n the moratorium or achieved statuses. The r e s u l t s are taken as strong support for the claim that epistemic doubt plays a c e n t r a l r o l e i n shaping the course of adolescent s o c i a l - c o g n i t i v e development. iv TABLE OF CONTENTS Abstract i i Table of Contents iv List of Tables v i i List of Figures v i i i Introduction 1 Chapter 1 1.1. Epistemological Development 10 1.2. Epistemic Development in Early Childhood 11 1.3. Epistemology in Adolescence and Adulthood 15 Chapter 2 2.1. Epistemic Uncertainty and Formal Operations 27 2.2. A conceptual case for the relation between formal operational thought and the emergence of epistemic doubt 28 2.3. An empirical case for the relation between formal operational thought and the emergence of epistemic doubt 39 2.4. Summary of Hypotheses and Empirical Issues 40 Chapter 3 3.1. Epistemic Development in Adolescence and Adulthood: A Model 42 3.2. Summary of Hypotheses and Empirical Issues 54 Chapter 4 4.1. Skeptical Doubt and Ego-Identity Status 56 4.2. General Summary of Hypotheses and Empirical Issues 65 V Chapter 5 5.1. Method 67 5.2. Subject Selection and Screening 67 5.3. Materials 68 5.4. Measures of Formal Operations 70 5.5. Measures of Epistemic Certainty 75 5 .6 . Measures of Identity 90 5.7. Procedural Summary 99 Chapter 6 6.1. Results 100 6.2. Structural Adequacy of the Epistemic Stage Model 100 6.3. Epistemic Assumptions and Formal Operations 107 6.4. Ego Identity Status Designation 113 6.5. Cognitive Structural Development and Ego Identity Formation 115 6 .6 . Epistemic Level and Ego Identity Status 117 6.7. Summary of Results 134 Chapter 7 7.1 Discussion 137 References 147 v i Appendices A. Epistemic Developmental Models 159 B. Measures of Formal Operations: Protocols and Scoring Criter i a 168 C. Epistemic Doubt Interview Stories and Probes 174 Scoring Manual 179 D. Objective Measure of Ego-Identity Status: Instructions and Sample Items 193 v i i LIST OF TABLES TABLE 1: OM-EIS Scale R e l i a b i l i t i e s 95 TABLE 2: OM-EIS Subscale Intercorrelations 96 TABLE 3: Ego Identity Scales Factor Structure Using Varimax Rotation 97 TABLE 4: Epistemic Level by Grade 101 TABLE 5: Correlation Matrix Age, Developmental and Epistemic Level.. 102 TABLE 6: Cognitive Developmental Level By Epistemic Level 109 TABLE 7: Cognitive Developmental Level By 3 Epistemic Levels 112 TABLE 8: Grade By Ego Identity Status 114 TABLE 9: Cognitive Developmental Level By Ego-Identity Status 116 TABLE 10: Ego-Identity Status By Epistemic Level 119 TABLE 11: Epistemic Level By Ego-Identity Status 121 TABLE 12: Epistemic Level By Ego-Identity Status Scale Scores 125 TABLE 13: Epistemic Level By Standardized Ego-Identity Status Scale Scores 128 v i i i LIST OF FIGURES FIGURE 1: Standardized Ego Identity Scale Scores for Each Epistemic Level ...126 FIGURE 2: Epistemic Level By Ego Identity Status Interaction 129 ACKNOWLEDGEMENT While an undertaking such as t h i s i s represented as an i n d i v i d u a l achievement, i t would not have been po s s i b l e had i t not been f or the support of three f a m i l i e s . The f i r s t being that comprised of my teachers, advisors, and now, f r i e n d s . To Michael Chandler i s owed nothing le s s than my i n i t i a l i n t e r e s t i n and continuing f a s c i n a t i o n with developmental issues and many other aspects of the world. Debts of academic guidance and fr i e n d s h i p are al s o owed to Larry Walker, f or an i n t e r e s t i n moral development, J e r r y Wiggins, f o r an i n t e r e s t i n interpersonal approaches to personality, and Lou Moran for showing the richness that may be found i n theories of development. A second family i s that comprised of my fellow graduate students who shared the road from s t a t i s t i c s to defences with me and gr e a t l y enriched the experience. I w i l l continue to count them among my most cherished friends and colleages. F i n a l l y , to my imediate and extended family, and e s p e c i a l l y to my wife L o r r i e , I am gr e a t l y indebted f o r the continuing support and understanding without which such a s e l f - i n v o l v i n g project as t h i s would be impossible. 1 INTRODUCTION This study was meant: 1) to document an important, but l i t t l e understood, watershed i n the course of adolescent cogn i t i v e development that d i v i d e s the c a s e - s p e c i f i c doubts of middle childhood from the more wholesale generic doubts c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of adolescence and adulthood; and 2) to evaluate the part which such emergent s k e p t i c a l doubts play i n shaping the course of the adolescent i d e n t i t y formation process. In the pages which follow, both a conceptual and an empirical case w i l l be made for the pr o p o s i t i o n that, with the advent of those cogni t i v e changes that Piaget has characterized as formal operational thought, young persons t y p i c a l l y come to a new and more r e l a t i v i s e d understanding of the r e l a t i o n between ideas and experiences that s e r i o u s l y undermines t h e i r e a r l i e r b e l i e f i n the p o s s i b i l i t y of object i v e and c e r t a i n knowledge. This s h i f t i n the epistemic posture of adolescents i s responsible, i t w i l l be argued, for a sequence of new response strategies c a l c u l a t e d to allow them to proceed with reasonable c e r t a i n t y and to make commitments i n a world where absolute t r u t h i s seen as incr e a s i n g l y i l l u s o r y . To the extent that such a sequence of a l t e r n a t i v e responses to generic doubt can be documented, room can then be made for the forging of theoretic and empirical linkages between such cogni t i v e advances and other aspects of s o c i a l and interpersonal development. In p a r t i c u l a r , i t was hypothesized that the various stations of doubt documented here set l i m i t s upon the manner i n which such young persons are able to advance along the course of the i d e n t i t y formation process. Accomplishing these i n t e r p r e t i v e and empirical goals necessitated the administration of a serie s of cognitive, epistemic, and i d e n t i t y 2 measures to a sample of junior and senior high school students. The young persons who made up t h i s sample were i n i t i a l l y screened using a battery of Piagetian measures i n an e f f o r t to e s t a b l i s h t h e i r l e v e l of operative competence. Those young persons who could be c l e a r l y c l a s s i f i e d as either concrete or formal operational were administered both a semi-structured interview procedure intended to make e x p l i c i t t h e i r t a c i t epistemological assumptions, and a standardized questionnaire measure (Adams, Shea, and F i t c h , 1979) intended as a means of indexing t h e i r ego-identity status. On grounds to be d e t a i l e d more extensively i n the sections to follow, i t was reasoned that both formal operational thought and a developing appreciation of the constructive character of the knowledge a c q u i s i t i o n process c o n s t i t u t e a l t e r n a t i v e expressions of the same underlying adolescent cognitive s t r u c t u r a l s h i f t . Because, however, the responses of subjects to t h i s l o s s of simple c e r t a i n t y are hypothesized to move through a sequence of d i s t i n c t stages or l e v e l s , t h i s developmental ordering i s thought to o f f e r a conceptual bridge l i n k i n g c o g n i t i v e s t r u c t u r a l advancement with the i d e n t i t y formation process. Before a d e s c r i p t i o n of the procedures and r e s u l t s of t h i s study can be taken up, however, i t w i l l be necessary to f i r s t make a conceptual case for why the course of epistemic development should proceed along the p a r t i c u l a r pathway proposed and why such changes should constrain the course of the i d e n t i t y formation process. This long, but necessary, f r o n t i s p i e c e w i l l consequently d e t a i l i n turn what i s already known about the course of epistemic development, undertake to r e l a t e such changes to more standard measures of cognit i v e development, and to set such changes i n conceptual r e l a t i o n to the known course of i d e n t i t y 3 formation. The remainder of t h i s introductory section w i l l provide an overview of relevant theory and research concerned with these hypothesized c o g n i t i v e developmental changes, and w i l l preview the conceptual and empirical course that t h i s thesis w i l l attempt to steer. The c e n t r a l purpose of t h i s t h e s i s , then, i s to d e t a i l , f i r s t conceptually and then em p i r i c a l l y , an ordered seri e s of adolescent responses to the prospect of what w i l l be characterized as the emergence of epistemic doubt. The present research e f f o r t i s not unique i n t h i s aim. There c u r r e n t l y exist numerous i s o l a t e d pockets of theory and research concerning the t a c i t epistemologies of c h i l d r e n and adolescents, each of which w i l l be reviewed i n d e t a i l i n sections 1.2 and 1.3 of chapter 1 and used to inform the present conceptual and empirical e n t e r p r i s e . This fragmented l i t e r a t u r e , which v a r i o u s l y focusses upon the epistemic concerns of early childhood, middle childhood, adolescence, and c o l l e g e aged youth, w i l l be shown to be s u f f i c i e n t to guide the present research e f f o r t , but does not yet provide any coherent account of the changing nature of young people's epistemic assumptions across the broad sweep of development. The model of epistemic development to be proposed, tested, and conceptually integrated with other more f a m i l i a r accounts of adolescent development undertakes to d i v i d e the manner i n which young persons attempt to understand matters of c e r t a i n t y and doubt i n t o three d i s t i n c t l e v e l s or stages. The broad outlines of t h i s proposed model are sketched below. The Model A l l that i s known about the nature of the thought i n middle childhood, i t w i l l be argued, strongly suggests that such young c h i l d r e n hold to a r e a l i s t i c set of epistemic assumptions regarding the nature of 4 knowledge a c q u i s i t i o n . As a consequence, such c h i l d r e n b e l i e v e that knowledge i s already m a t e r i a l l y present i n the f a c t s of the world and only need to be attended to i n order to be known. Any u n c e r t a i n t i e s or doubts experienced by such young epistemic r e a l i s t s are treated as e n t i r e l y " c a s e - s p e c i f i c " (Chandler, i n press b) and empty of implications for the knowing process more generally for the reason that they are always assumed to give way i n the presence of the relevant f a c t s (Boyes, 1982; Chandler and Boyes, 1982; F l a v e l l , Green, and F l a v e l l , 1986; Taylor, 1985; Taylor and F l a v e l l , 1984). With the advent of adolescence, however, and the i n c r e a s i n g l y abstract, recursive nature of thought c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of formal operational thought (Inhelder and Piaget, 1958), young people are assumed here to begin to c a l l i n t o r a d i c a l question t h e i r e a r l i e r r e a l i s t i c assumptions. In t h e i r place, according to the present model, adolescents come to be faced with the growing r e a l i z a t i o n that knowledge i s the r e s u l t of a constructive, i n t e r p r e t i v e , and therefore r e l a t i v i s t i c knowledge generating process. While much of t h i s i s to the good, the dark side of t h i s otherwise powerful interpersonal i n s i g h t i s doubt. Once the inherently subjective nature of knowledge comes to be recognized, the adolescent i s assumed here to begin to appreciate for the f i r s t time that doubt i s no longer the consequence of c a s e - s p e c i f i c ignorance but i s instead generic, pervading the e n t i r e knowing process (Chandler, i n press). With t h i s epistemic s h i f t , a l l hope of ever a t t a i n i n g absolute knowledge i s s e r i o u s l y undermined. In terms of the model proposed here, three responses are p o s s i b l e i n the face of t h i s developing appreciation of the generic nature of doubt. The f i r s t and second of these are r e l a t e d i n that they both turn 5 upon the common but flawed assumption (Gadamer, 1975) that regaining some form of access to absolute truth i s a necessary p r e r e q u i s i t e to the formulation of any r a t i o n a l choices. The f i r s t , described here as dogmatism, i s premised on the assumption that while, under normal circumstances, access to absolute truth i s denied to most i n d i v i d u a l s , i t may s t i l l be recouped by p l a c i n g one's f a i t h i n some omniscient authority ( e i t h e r r e l i g i o u s or secular) whose access to the t r u t h i s not clouded by ordinary s u b j e c t i v i t y (Chandler, 1975). Skepticism, the second of these two yoked a l t e r n a t i v e s , i s re l a t e d to dogmatism by the assumption that absolute c e r t a i n t y remains a necessary component of a l l r a t i o n a l b e l i e f s or choices, but d i f f e r s from other such o b j e c t i v i s t i c views i n that i t denies, i n p r i n c i p l e , the p o s s i b i l i t y of ever l o c a t i n g an unimpeachable source of knowledge. When forced to make choices, such s k e p t i c a l young persons, i t w i l l be argued, do so for what they recognize to be a r a t i o n a l reasons based upon chance, conformity, or the l i k e . A t h i r d and f i n a l group, refered to here as " r a t i o n a l i s t s " , unlike t h e i r dogmatic and s k e p t i c a l counterparts, refuse to yoke good reasons with the necessity of absolute knowledge and decide instead that while they can never be absolutely sure about anything, i t i s p o s s i b l e to be as sure about most things as i s t y p i c a l l y necessary i n order to have the sort of c e r t a i n knowledge that knowledge i s generally taken to be (Penelhum, 1967; Shotter, 1984). Standards of r a t i o n a l i t y which do not r e l y on recourse to the absolute unmitigated truth, such as Popper's notion of f a l s i f i a b i l i t y (1971) or Erikson's notion of commitment (1968), are t a c i t l y understood by such young persons to be the means by 6 which competing knowledge claims and good and bad reasons may be sorted out. This prospect, that young people's understanding of the nature and remediation of doubt may s h i f t during the course of adolescence from realism to dogmatisn and skepticism and f i n a l l y to a form of post-s k e p t i c a l r ationalism i s the o r i e n t i n g assumption i n terms of which the scattered l i t e r a t u r e on adolescent c o g n i t i v e development w i l l be organized. The f i r s t step i n further c h a r a c t e r i z i n g t h i s epistemic developmental sequence w i l l be to draw out the p a r a l l e l s between the proposed stages or l e v e l s i n the management of c e r t a i n t y and doubt and other, better documented markers of c o g n i t i v e development — that i s , to l i n k the i n s i g h t s gained through focussing upon t h i s darker side of adolescent cognitive development to the well known l i s t of accomplishments of that same s t r u c t u r a l developmental process. Once t h i s l i n k has been established, the p o t e n t i a l u t i l i t y i n d e t a i l i n g the course of epistemic development needs to be demonstrated by e s t a b l i s h i n g that i t permits us to b e t t e r comprehend other aspects of the adolescent developmental process. While there i s a number of adolescent concerns and accomplishments against which the p r e d i c t i v e u t i l i t y and explanatory v a l i d i t y of the proposed epistemic developmental model could be tested, the most compelling area i n which to undertake t h i s f i r s t t e s t i s the study of the adolescent i d e n t i t y formation process, on the grounds that i t i s widely acknowledged to be the c e n t r a l task of t h i s age period (Borne, 1982a, 1982b; Erikson, 1968; Keniston, 1970; Marcia, 1980). A d d i t i o n a l l y , and by i t s very nature, there appears to be a natural a f f i n i t y between the sorts of troublesome doubts and 7 u n c e r t a i n t i e s which, w i l l be shown to a r i s e during the normal course of epistemic development and the questions and doubts which are considered to be c e n t r a l to the task of i d e n t i t y formation. In order to make good on these claims, several d i f f e r e n t pieces of t h i s research agenda w i l l need to be set i n place. It w i l l f i r s t be necessary to provide a conceptual account of the epistemic developmental process. This w i l l be accomplished by f i r s t reviewing the small l i t e r a t u r e which has emerged from the attempts of others to document c e r t a i n features of adolescent epistemic development ( i n chapter 1 ) . By c o l l a t i n g and elaborating these scattered i s l a n d s of research i t w i l l be p o s s i b l e , at the end of chapter 1, to delineate a d e s c r i p t i v e typology of epistemic responses to doubt and uncertainty. This typology w i l l then need to be v a l i d a t e d as a f i r s t step i n the empirical work of the thesis (chapter 2 ) . Only a f t e r t h i s proposed sequence of responses to doubt has been demonstrated to appropriately characterize the epistemic o r i e n t a t i o n of young persons of various ages and l e v e l s of cognitive developmental maturity w i l l i t be appropriate to ask how t h i s developmental sequence r e l a t e s to t r a d i t i o n a l measures of the changing structure of adolescent thought. In chapter 3, the a n t i c i p a t e d age r e l a t e d and s t r u c t u r a l stage q u a l i t i e s of the proposed epistemic developmental model w i l l be d e t a i l e d and a s e r i e s of empirical t e s t s of these hypotheses w i l l be d e t a i l e d . I f , as assumed, young people's reactions to the prospect of epistemic doubt does i n f a c t c o n s t i t u t e the darker side of the same s t r u c t u r a l developmental changes described more p o s i t i v e l y within the Piagetian c o g n i t i v e developmental model, then a s p e c i f i a b l e empirical r e l a t i o n s h i p should exist between young persons' performances on 8 measures derived from each of these areas of understanding. Chapter 2 explores the a n t i c i p a t e d r e l a t i o n between standard measures of formal operational reasoning and r e s u l t s obtained from the epistemic interviews c o l l e c t e d here. The nature of t h i s r e l a t i o n s h i p i s understood to be one of whole-to-part rather than that of cause-to-effect i n that both are considered to be a l t e r n a t i v e expressions of the same underlying cogni t i v e s t r u c t u r a l whole. Stated i n more operational terms, i t should be p o s s i b l e to demonstrate that the s h i f t to formal operational modes of thought i n adolescence, as measured by standard Piagetian measures, should i n every instance be matched by a counterpart recognition of the generic nature of doubt. Once t h i s a n t i c i p a t e d conceptual and empirical isomorphism has been established i t w i l l be pos s i b l e to move on, i n chapter 4, to a demonstration of the explanatory and p r e d i c t i v e advantages which are expected to follow from a systematic account of the ontogenetic course of young persons' epistemic b e l i e f s . As out l i n e d e a r l i e r , i t was decided to t e s t these expectations i n r e l a t i o n to the process of adolescent ego-i d e n t i t y formation both because such i d e n t i t y issues are of c e n t r a l concern within the adolescent period and because of the natural a f f i n i t y between such matters and the epistemic issues under study here. As w i l l be further d e t a i l e d i n t h i s section, Marcia's (1966, 1976, 1980) account of the ego-identity formation process stands as the best developed and most thoroughly researched account of t h i s process. Despite the th e o r e t i c expectation that a s p e c i f i a b l e r e l a t i o n ought to obtain between the s h i f t from concrete to formal operational modes of thought and advancement to higher l e v e l s i n the ego-identity formation process, past attempts to document the nature and existence of t h i s r e l a t i o n have 9 been equivocal at best. Chapter 4 outlines reasons as to why the model of epistemic development proposed here should do a better job of predicting young persons' place in the ego-identity formation process and thus provide a stronger, more def ini t ive l ink between ego-identity development and cognitive structural advancement than have other related attempts. Section 4.2 of chapter 4 draws together the various threads of this conceptual framework and provides a summary of the specific empirical hypotheses generated in chapters 1 to 4. 10 CHAPTER 1 Epistemological Development The purpose of t h i s section i s to define what i s meant by the notion of one's t a c i t epistemological assumptions and to provide an account of how such assumptions can be a n t i c i p a t e d to change over the course of development. It w i l l begin with a review of p r e v i o u s l y formulated accounts of the i m p l i c i t epistemic assumptions present i n the thinking of pre-adolescent c h i l d r e n and w i l l turn, l a t e r i n the section, to a review of a e x i s t i n g stage models of the course of epistemic development i n adolescence and adulthood. A case w i l l then be made that these d i s t i n c t l i t e r a t u r e s can be s t i t c h e d together i n t o a more complete account, drawing out the changing responses of these age groups to matters of uncertainty and doubt. The term epistemic understanding, as i t w i l l be used here, r e f e r s to one's set of b e l i e f s about the nature of knowledge — where i t i s located, how i t i s generated, and how i t may be attained. Research i n several domains, to be reviewed below, suggests that at various points i n the course of t h e i r development young people hold to quite d i f f e r e n t assumptions about the nature of knowledge and harbour fundamentally divergent views regarding the a v a i l a b i l i t y of t r u t h and the degree of c e r t a i n t y which one i s e n t i t l e d to claim for one's b e l i e f s . In contrast to most other areas of cogni t i v e development, children's and adolescents' understanding of epistemic issues has been poorly mapped out and does not so much represent a coherent ontogenetic account as i t resembles a seri e s of disconnected is l a n d s of understanding. The two purposes of t h i s section are then: 1.) to map out what i s already known about these i s l a n d s and, 2.) once t h i s charting 11 exercise has been accomplished, to speci f y a more general model of epistemic development capable of bridging and anchoring them to other important developmental markers. Epistemic Development i n Ea r l y Childhood An a c t i v e research l i t e r a t u r e , focussed upon young children's attempts to sort out the di f f e r e n c e s between what they and others know about the world, indicates that before 4 or 5 years of age c h i l d r e n b e l i e v e a l l knowledge to be the automatic byproduct of d i r e c t sensory experience (Boyes, 1982; Chandler, i n press a; Chandler and Boyes, 1982; F l a v e l l , 1986; F l a v e l l , Green, and F l a v e l l , 1986; Olson, i n press; Perner, i n press; Taylor, 1985; Wellman, i n press, 1985; and Wimmer and Hogrefe, i n pre s s ) . For such young ch i l d r e n , a l l knowledge i s c e r t a i n knowledge, equally known by a l l who share a common perceptual h i s t o r y . According to t h i s l i t e r a t u r e , t h i s simple "seeing equals knowing" assumption i s eventually replaced, i n middle childhood, by a growing understanding that appearances may sometimes be misleading and that things are not always as they appear. While continuing to believe that knowledge i s d i r e c t l y t i e d to experience, such young school-aged epistemic r e a l i s t s give evidence of understanding that the knowledge one has sometimes depends upon the p a r t i c u l a r facet of the world to which one has been exposed. In epistemic terms, t h i s t r a n s l a t e s to a b e l i e f that appearances may d i f f e r from, and mask, an underlying but truer r e a l i t y (Boyes, 1982; Chandler, i n press a ) . While such p e r s i s t e n t l y r e a l i s t i c young persons are not yet capable of appreciating that two persons can be e n t i t l e d to d i f f e r e n t readings of the same f a c t s , they do appreciate that not a l l i n d i v i d u a l s are equally informed and that t h i s d i f f e r e n t i a l access to the t r u t h can produce d i f f e r e n t i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s 12 of one and the same thing. For t h i s reason such middle school aged c h i l d r e n understand that one does not always have grounds for being completely c e r t a i n of the correctness of his or her b e l i e f s , though one may continue to be c e r t a i n that only one v e r i d i c a l p o s i t i o n or underlying r e a l i t y e x i s t s (Chandler, i n press a; F l a v e l l , 1986; Taylor, 1985; Mansfield and Clinchy, 1985). Doubts regarding the v e r a c i t y of one's f a c t s , when they are considered at a l l , are for such c h i l d r e n of t h i s c a s e - s p e c i f i c sort. Discrepancies i n b e l i e f s among several people are deemed to be possible but whenever people hold divergent assumptions about the same incident or issue one of them, i n the long run, must ne c e s s a r i l y prove to be wrong. The truth, while temporarily out of reach i n such s i t u a t i o n s , must eventually w i l l out. Changes i n children's reactions to those whose b e l i e f s are discrepant from th e i r own (Enright and Lapsley, 1981; Enright, Lapsley, Fr a n k l i n , and Steuck, 1984) mirror t h i s e a r l y childhood t r a n s i t i o n i n epistemic assumptions. Younger, pre-school aged c h i l d r e n , who have yet to appreciate that there i s more to knowledge than what meets "the eye," either lack any sense of the p o s s i b i l i t y of disagreement or are in t o l e r a n t of any with whom they disagree. The dec l i n e i n egocentrism and the counterpart drawing of a d i s t i n c t i o n between surface or transient appearances and underlying r e a l i t y i n middle childhood i s also marked by a s h i f t away from such e a r l i e r intolerance and moral denigration of those with whom one disagrees. It i s recognized that, through no necessary f a u l t of t h e i r own, people often f i n d themselves i n possession of d i f f e r e n t b e l i e f s , and as a consequence a more tole r a n t and open-minded a t t i t u d e i s often adopted. 13 Common to most of those researchers who have chosen to focus upon the early development of the appearance/reality d i s t i n c t i o n i s the claim that by the ea r l y school years, young c h i l d r e n appreciate that knowledge of the world i s an i n t e r p r e t i v e achievement ( F l a v e l l , Green, and F l a v e l l , 1986). F l a v e l l (1986), and others concerned with such accomplishments (Gopnick and Forguson, 1986; Wellman, 1985; and Wimmer and Perner, 1983), i d e n t i f y t h i s i n t e r p r e t i v e i n s i g h t as being a less expert v e r s i o n of the same epistemic understanding c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of the average ad u l t . Such accounts of the course of epistemic development are commensurate with recent c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n s of the general c o g n i t i v e developmental course as i n v o l v i n g a s i n g l e q u a l i t a t i v e reorganization triggered i n e a r l y childhood by the onset of symbolic representational a b i l i t i e s . Subsequent development, i n t h i s view, i s a more protracted, perhaps l i f e - l o n g , process of qu a n t i t a t i v e change and advancement which builds upon the basic s k i l l s and a b i l i t i e s which accompany the onset of symbolic representation ( F l a v e l l , 1982a, 1982b). The im p l i c a t i o n of t h i s view for our understanding of epistemic development i s that i t leads to the b e l i e f that an appreciation of the appearance-reality d i s t i n c t i o n i n early childhood and the r e a l i s t i c epistemic stance i t supports i s the ultimate epistemic developmental achievement. In the remainder of t h i s section, a case w i l l be made for the a s s e r t i o n that epistemic development continues through middle-childhood, adolescence, and int o adulthood and that c e r t a i n cognitive changes novel to the adolescent period serve to ser i o u s l y undermine the sense of r e a l i s t i c c e r t a i n t y enjoyed during early childhood. It w i l l be argued, on the basis of past research, that the in c r e a s i n g l y abstract nature of thought, which characterizes adolescent 14 c o g n i t i v e development, not only leads to more complex problem solving s t r a t e g i e s and solutions but also to the appreciation of more complex problems. That i s , i t i s suggested that s t r u c t u r a l developmental advances r o u t i n e l y associated with the move into adolescence not only have a progressive side i n that they provide new, more sophisticated, i n s i g h t i n t o e x i s t i n g problems and challenges, but they a l s o have a negative or dark side i n that they introduce such young persons to prospects of epistemic doubts and i n t e r p r e t i v e confusions not previously imagined. What w i l l be argued, and subjected to empirical t e s t , i s that i n contrast to younger c h i l d r e n who are aware that knowledge i s 'subjective' i n the sense of being r e l a t i v e to the kinds of inputs to which d i f f e r e n t people have access, adolescents come to the novel but d i s r u p t i v e recognition of the r e l a t i v i t y of what knowledge i s held to be. The otherwise p o s i t i v e cognitive achievements of adolescence, the increasing a b i l i t y to take and coordinate the perspectives of others (Selman, 1980), the achievement of post-conventional moral reasoning (Kohlberg, 1971), and even the a c q u i s i t i o n of a proper s c i e n t i f i c a t t i t u d e (Piaget, 1970), may be seen, then, to e n t a i l a problematic side — that of the p o t e n t i a l for serious doubts regarding the whole foundation of the epistemic enterprise. The upshot of t h i s i s to c a l l i n t o r a d i c a l question the very p o s s i b i l i t y of o b j e c t i v e knowledge and warranted c e r t a i n t y . As Mansfield and Clinchy (1985) suggest, one r e a l l y only encounters such serious (epistemic) uncertainty beyond childhood. As w i l l be shown below, however, what i s involved i n these l a t e r epistemic t r a n s i t i o n s i s c l e a r e r than when or how they occur. A number of theoretic attempts have been made to capture what i s p e c u l i a r to adolescents' and young adults' thoughts and assumptions 15 regarding such epistemic matters, e s p e c i a l l y as they r e l a t e to the issue of i n t e r p r e t a t i o n . It w i l l be argued, i n the remainder of t h i s section, that the foundational feature which i s common to these otherwise diverse approaches i s the issue of doubt. What w i l l be proposed i s that s h i f t s i n epistemic o r i e n t a t i o n i n adolescence operate to cost young people t h e i r former sense of comfortable c e r t a i n t y about the ultimate d e c i d a b i l i t y of contrasting knowledge claims. Younger c h i l d r e n , while appreciating that d i f f e r e n t people may be i n possession of d i f f e r e n t f a c t s or b e l i e f s about the world, are none-the-less confident that a l l i n t e r p r e t i v e disagreements w i l l eventually be decided with c e r t a i n t y . Adolescents and young adults, by contrast, are lead by t h e i r newly won c o g n i t i v e - s t r u c t u r a l changes to the opposite understanding that some doubts are unassuagable and that uncertainty regarding the ob j e c t i v e t r u t h of some knowledge claims w i l l simply not go away. The claim to be tested here i s that i t i s t h i s darker side of what has heretofore been generally considered to be the p o s i t i v e c o g n i t i v e achievements of adolescence — t h i s r e a l i z a t i o n of the generic or s k e p t i c a l nature of doubt — which informs the sorts of epistemic assumptions unique to adolescence and adulthood and guides such young people's actions i n si t u a t i o n s where knowledge claims c o n f l i c t . Epistemology i n Adolescence and Adulthood A number of in v e s t i g a t o r s i n c l u d i n g Piaget (1929), Perry (1970), Broughton (1975), and Kitchener and King (1981) have previously presented descriptions of epistemic changes i n adolescence. While i t i s not po s s i b l e to do f u l l j u s t i c e to t h e i r r i c h accounts, these models w i l l be discussed i n s u f f i c i e n t d e t a i l to make clear the point at which epistemic doubt i s understood to enter t h e i r respective stage models. An 16 attempt w i l l then be made to a l i g n these various models with the one being proposed i n t h i s t h e s i s . In h i s early work, Piaget (1929) began to sketch a psychological account of a genetic epistemology — an account of the normal developmental course of the changing character of young people's thoughts about the nature and a t t a i n a b i l i t y of t r u t h and meaning. On the basis of e a r l y evidence (Piaget, 1929), c o l l e c t e d by means of h i s f a m i l i a r " c l i n i c a l " method, he argued that the general s t r u c t u r a l changes which occur i n the course of cognitive development are r e f l e c t e d i n a progressive movement through an ordered series of epistemic stages beginning with a p o s i t i o n of absolute realism and moving towards a stance of subjectivism or r e l a t i v i s m (see Appendix A). In h i s subsequent work, Piaget (1970) s h i f t e d from such a global, epistemic focus to h i s better known account of cognitive development defined as movement towards hypothetico-deductive reasoning or formal operations (Broughton, 1977). The connections between Piaget's early d e scriptions of epistemic development and h i s l a t e r accounts of formal operational reasoning are unclear and i n d i r e c t at best. Several c r i t i c s of h i s work have argued persuasively that these l a t e r attempts (Inhelder and Piaget, 1958) to d i r e c t l y implicate the achievment of hypothetico-deductive reasoning as the cause of adolescent s e l f - r e f l e c t i o n ( B l a s i and Hoeffal, 1974) and the endstate of the epistemic developmental process (Broughton, 1975) have l a r g e l y f a l l e n short of the mark. In l i g h t of these c r i t i c i s m s , the po s s i b l e r e l a t i o n s between formal operational competence and epistemic doubt w i l l be taken up i n d e t a i l i n subsequent sections of t h i s t h e s i s . In b r i e f , i t w i l l be argued here that the same cognit i v e s t r u c t u r a l transformations understood to underpin the movement from concrete to 17 formal operational modes of thought i n adolescence may a l s o be seen to be responsible for the adolescent r e a l i z a t i o n of the the generic nature of doubt. For the purposes of the present section i t i s s u f f i c i e n t to note that, i n h i s early writings and based upon h i s empirical i n v e s t i g a t i o n of the early adolescent period, Piaget i d e n t i f i e d a general movement away from an early commitment to absolute realism and toward a more subjective p o s i t i o n i n which the knowing process i s understood to be importantly c o n s t r u c t i v i s t i c or person r e l a t i v e . Operating out of an i n t e l l e c t u a l t r a d i t i o n remote from that of Piaget, William Perry (1970) began a program of research i n the s i x t i e s that a l s o led to the development of a systematic model of epistemic and e t h i c a l development. Perry's goal was to account for the dramatic i n t e l l e c t u a l transformations that commonly occur i n college students as a consequence of t h e i r exposure to a l i b e r a l a r t s curriculum. Perry's model consists of nine p o s i t i o n s (see Appendix A for a d e s c r i p t i o n ) . The model i s d i v i d e d i n t o two consecutive developmental sequences. The f i r s t describes a f i v e step progression away from an i n i t i a l d u a l i s t i c p o s i t i o n , i n which issues of r i g h t and wrong are viewed i n black and white terms, and towards a p o s i t i o n of r e l a t i v i s m , i n which knowledge and b e l i e f s are understood to be subjective and person r e l a t i v e . The second developmental sequence follows d i r e c t l y from the f i r s t and i s comprised of h i s p o s i t i o n s 6 to 9. This second sequence describes subsequent movements away from a p o s i t i o n of wholly r e l a t i v i s e d , know-nothing skeptisism and toward a p o s i t i o n described as an a f f i r m a t i o n of i d e n t i t y i n which one i s able to make and j u s t i f y personal commitments i n s p i t e of (or i n the face of) what i s taken to be the i n h e r e n t l y 18 subjective nature of a l l knowledge. This l a s t p o s i t i o n , according to Perry, involves something l i k e a leap of f a i t h by which one's choices may be supported on other than o b j e c t i v i s t i c grounds. In a d d i t i o n to these general developmental trends, Perry described three response s t y l e s or ways i n which he observed c o l l e g e students to be r e a c t i n g defensively to the r e l a t i v i s t i c epistemic p o s i t i o n being advanced by those responsible for teaching the l i b e r a l a r t s curriculum i n which the students were e n r o l l e d . Students who appeared bewildered by t h e i r l i b e r a l a r t s experience and who consequently decided to f o r e s t a l l any consideration of epistemic matters were sa i d to be temporizing. Other students are described as r e t r e a t i n g from an appreciation of the r e l a t i v i s t i c nature of knowledge, by a c t i v e l y denying the p o s s i b l e legitimacy of alternate b e l i e f s or t r u t h claims. F i n a l l y , Perry characterizes the r e f u s a l of some students to move beyond a p o s i t i o n of r e l a t i v i s m ( i . e . , p o s i t i o n 5) and to even consider the p o s s i b i l i t y of commitment to be indulging i n a form of escape or i r r e s p o n s i b l e skepticism. Perry's model i s broadly seen to have fused the moral and epistemic realms (Broughton, 1975). This i s r e f l e c t i v e of h i s d e s i r e to focus, non-evaluatively, on the l i v e d experiences of college students. This approach, which collapses the good and the true, r e s u l t s i n an account of development during the c o l l e g e years which straddles both issues of c o g n i t i v e - s t r u c t u r a l development and ego-functional development. Consequently, the model i s more a d e s c r i p t i v e , graded account of college students' reactions to t h e . r e l a t i v i s m which they encounter i n the course of a l i b e r a l a r t s education than i t i s a normative model of the ontogenesis of young people's epistemic b e l i e f s . 19 The embeddedness of Perry's model within the context of a l i b e r a l a r t s experience and i t s consequent i n c l u s i o n of f u n c t i o n a l ego-identity r e l a t e d concerns, has lead to i t s being employed to inform a series of counseling programs designed s p e c i f i c a l l y to meet the needs of college students (Knefelkamp and Spletza, 1976; Sheese and Radovanovic, 1984; Widick, 1977; Widick, Knefelkamp, and Parker, 1975). This postulated causal connection between college experience and movement away from d u a l i s t i c epistemic positions has lead to the development of a number of t r a i n i n g programs s p e c i f i c a l l y designed to increase the complexity of students' thought (Porier-Heine, 1987; Stephenson and Hunt, 1977; Touchton, Wertheimer, Cornfeld, and Harrison, 1987) A p p l i c a t i o n of t h i s model to other samples has indicated that the b e n e f i c i a l e f f e c t s of a l i b e r a l a r t s curriculum need not be confined to u n i v e r s i t y but may a l s o be e f f e c t i v e with senior high school students (Clinchy, L i e f , and Young, 1977). The t h i r d i n t h i s series of r e l a t e d models of epistemic development was proposed by Broughton. In ways that are reminiscent of the e a r l i e r e f f o r t s of both Piaget and Perry, Broughton (1975, 1978) has both o u t l i n e d an 8 stage account of the ontogenetic course of young people's understanding of the concepts of s e l f and knowledge derived from the work of Baldwin (see Appendix A); and has set t h i s account i n r e l a t i o n to Piaget's and Perry's models. This p h i l o s o p h i c a l l y derived 8 stage model of the ontogenesis of natural notions of epistemology also has been t h e o r e t i c a l l y and e m p i r i c a l l y r e l a t e d to Piaget's l a t e r developed cogni t i v e developmental account of the ontogenesis of l o g i c a l reasoning and to Kohlberg's theory of moral reasoning development. Broughton's argument (1975, p. 6) that epistemology i s n e c e s s a r i l y located beyond 20 l o g i c a l reasoning and short of moral j u s t i f i c a t i o n i s well taken. In a sim i l a r vein, the present thesis involves an attempt to move beyond merely p o s i t i o n i n g epistemic issues between those of l o g i c and morality, and to t i e the roots of the epistemic developmental process more d i r e c t l y to transformations i n cognitive structure believed to underpin adolescent changes i n the nature of thought and b e l i e f s . The ontogenetic path towards r e l a t i v i s m , described i n the f i r s t f i v e p o s i t i o n s within Perry's model, i s s i m i l a r l y traced by Kuhn, Pennington, and Leadbeater's (1983) account of young adults' changing understanding of the r e l a t i o n s between the subjective and objective realms of discourse (see Appendix A). Using a methodology a f t e r which the epistemic doubt procedure developed for the present study was modeled (see section 5.5 i n chapter 5), Kuhn et a l . presented a sample of prospective jurors with discrepent accounts of a si n g l e , f i c t i t i o u s event (e.g., The 5th L i v i a n Wars). Their subjects' responses to a s e r i e s of probes intended to draw attention to, and e l i c i t explanations of and contradictions between the two accounts were c o l l e c t e d . On the basis of these responses, Kuhn et a l . advanced a 5 l e v e l d e s c r i p t i v e typology of reactions to the contradictory accounts of the c e n t r a l event. The typology ranged from an i n i t i a l p o s i t i o n (Level 0) i n which the discrepant accounts were simply repeated with a l l sense of c o n t r a d i c t i o n either omitted or ignored, to a l a t e r a r r i v i n g p o s i t i o n of r e l a t i v i s m (Level 4) i n which a d i s t i n c t i o n had been developed and was maintained between subjective and objective realms of discourse, and, a d d i t i o n a l l y , i t i s appreciated that the objective realm i s subordinate to, and may not be addressed independently of, the subjective realm. 21 In t h e i r approach, Kuhn et a l . were purposefully le s s concerned with how t h e i r subjects described t h e i r epistemic assumptions than they were i n i l l u m i n a t i n g how i t i s that such assumptions are applied i n s i t u a t i o n s which, by t h e i r nature, may be seen to challenge any n a i v e l y r e a l i s t i c assumption about the ready a c c e s s i b i l i t y of t r u t h or c e r t a i n knowledge. While t h i s typology was d e s c r i p t i v e l y derived from the responses of a group of a d u l t s , i t has subsequently been s u c c e s s f u l l y applied to the story responses of a group of grade 6 to 12 students. Kuhn et a l . (1983) reported f i n d i n g a l l l e v e l s of t h e i r typology represented within t h e i r high school sample. A d d i t i o n a l l y , they reported a strong r e l a t i o n between age and l e v e l , with more senior students more frequently scoring at Level 4. One i m p l i c a t i o n of t h i s r e s u l t i s that i f one gauges the nature of young people's epistemic assumptions by how they apply them i n s i t u a t i o n s of epistemic relevance rather than how they characterize t h e i r epistemic b e l i e f s when asked about them d i r e c t l y (e.g., as Broughton (1975) d i d ) , or when interviewed i n a less d i r e c t fashion (e.g. as Perry (1970) did) evidence of a r e l a t i v i s t i c epistemic outlook may be found among younger adolescent populations. F i n a l l y , l i k e Perry (1970), Kitchener and King (1981) also focussed upon the epistemic assumptions of l a t e high school and c o l l e g e aged young people. Unlike Perry, however, who simultaneously considered e t h i c a l and epistemic matters, Kitchener and King turned t h e i r a t t e n t i o n d i r e c t l y to the changing nature of young people's understanding of the b e l i e f j u s t i f i c a t i o n process. Arguing that learning how to discuss and defend ones' own point of view i s c e n t r a l to the mission of secondary and post-secondary i n s t i t u t i o n s and thus ought to be an important changing feature of development during adolescence and young adulthood, 22 Kitchener and King proposed a 7 stage model of the development of r e f l e c t i v e judgement concerned with the development of b e l i e f j u s t i f i c a t i o n s (see Appendix A). Kitchener and King's r e f l e c t i v e judgement model i s premised upon the developmental assumption that with the sorts of experiences and d i r e c t i n s t r u c t i o n encountered i n the routine course of a normal high school and college educational curriculum there i s a general increase i n the complexity (as defined by Harvey, Hunt, and Schroder, 1961) of the thoughts of such adolescent youths which i s r e f l e c t e d i n an i n c r e a s i n g l y sophisticated series of p o s i t i o n s (stages) regarding the nature of truth and the a t t a i n a b i l t i t y of c e r t a i n knowledge. The model was constructed by drawing upon the previous work of a range of developmental researchers ( A r l i n , 1975; Broughton, 1975; G i l l i g a n and Murphy, 1979; Kohlberg, 1973; Kuhn, 1979; and Reigel, 1973) and v a l i d a t e d by using i t to organize the responses of a sample of young people to a s e r i e s of s t o r i e s s i m i l a r to Kuhn et a l . ' s 5th L i v i a n Wars which contained two contradictory points of view (e.g., creationism vs. evolution; and the e f f e c t s of food a d d i t i v e s ) . The early stages within the model (1 to 3) r e f l e c t a r e a l i s t i c epistemic stance i n which i t i s believed that one may obtain c e r t a i n knowledge by simply reading objective r e a l i t y d i r e c t l y , consulting an authority who has already done so, or waiting u n t i l the t r u t h i s unearthed i n the f u l l n e s s of time. At these e a r l y l e v e l s , i t i s possible not only to be r i g h t but, with the exception of those cases where the t r u t h has yet to be revealed, i t i s a l s o p o s s i b l e to be absolutely c e r t a i n about what i s r i g h t and about who i s t e l l i n g the t r u t h . 23 According to t h i s r e f l e c t i v e judgment model, with subsequent experience and development these e a r l y r e a l i s t i c assumptions begin to f a l t e r and are replaced by a dawning sense that o b j e c t i v e r e a l i t y i s inaccessable (Stage 4) or that objective knowledge does not e x i s t (Stage 5) e i t h e r rendering other than e n t i r e l y i d i o s y n c r a t i c forms of j u s t i f i c a t i o n impossible or admitting only to s p e c i a l i z e d , within-content area agreements as to what may stand as appropriate j u s t i f i c a t o r y grounds. Relativism, defined by Perry (1970) and Kuhn, Pennington, and Leadbeater (1983) as the conjunction of a b e l i e f that no o b j e c t i v e r e a l i t y e x i s t s with a b e l i e f that no c r i t e r i a e x i s t for s o r t i n g good claims from bad, i s not represented within Kitchener and King's model. Instead, epistemic r e l a t i v i s m , as defined i n t h i s manner f a l l s between Stage 4, which affirms the existence of an objective r e a l i t y while denying the existence of any but the most i d i o s y n c r a t i c c r i t e r i a for evaluating c o n f l i c t i n g claims, and Stage 5 which denies the p o s s i b i l i t y of objective knowledge while a f f i r m i n g that knowledge claims may be j u s t i f i e d through the a p p l i c a t i o n of domain or perspective r e l a t i v e c r i t e r i a which go beyond being wholly i d i o s y n c r a t i c , i n d i v i d u a l i s t i c considerations. A f i n a l two stages complete Kitchener and King's account of the process by which people move out of abject r e l a t i v i s m by marking a general expansion of the intended range of a p p l i c a b i l i t y of one's p r i n c i p l e s of i n q u i r y . This expansion moves across content boundaries i n Stage 6 and becomes generalized, i n Stage 7, i n t o the b e l i e f (Dewey, 1915) that i n q u i r y i s an ongoing process which, over the course of time, can lead toward p r o b a b i l i s t i c truths and reasonable c e r t a i n t y i n matters 24 of knowledge as a consequence of the involvement of many in v e s t i g a t o r s i n a process of c r i t i c a l i n q u i r y . Since i t s development, the R e f l e c t i v e Judgment Interview (RJI) and the 7 stage model of the developmental course of b e l i e f j u s t i f i c a t i o n i t references, has received a broad degree of acceptence as a r i c h , a l b e i t o n t o g e n e t i c a l l y i s o l a t e d , account of the epistemic developmental course through the c o l l e g e years and i n t o the adulthood. Young persons' stage scores on the RJI have been found to be l a r g e l y uncorrelated with t h e i r scores on Piagetian derived measures of formal operational reasoning, verbal a b i l i t y , measures of abstract reasoning, and measures of c r i t i c a l thinking (Kitchener and King, 1981; Schmidt and Davison, 1981). This has been taken as an i n d i c a t i o n that r e f l e c t i v e judgment represents a r e l a t i v e l y independent aspect of development i n adolescence and adulthood. The theme of college experiences serving as the c a t a l y s t f o r advancements i n epistemic complexity, as advanced by Perry, runs strongly through research employing the RJI. Support has been found for the claim that advancement through the stages of the r e f l e c t i v e judgment model i s d i r e c t l y r e l a t e d to year i n college (Schmidt and Davison, 1981; Welfel, 1982; Welfel and Davison, 1986), and that t h i s r e l a t i o n i s not due to a confounding of age with educational l e v e l as age i s found to be only i n d i r e c t l y r e l a t e d to l e v e l of r e f l e c t e d judgment (Strange and King, 1981). The upshot of these various attempts to describe the course of epistemic development through and beyond the adolescent and c o l l e g e years i s the suggestion that, i n ways only t a n g e n t i a l l y r e l a t e d to the more general cognitive developmental course but loo s e l y t i e d to the 25 sorts of experiences usually had within the curriculum of a l i b e r a l a r t s educational curriculum, the epistemic assumptions of adolescents and young adults become less d u a l i s t i c or r e a l i s t i c and more r e l a t i v i s t i c . As the o b j e c t i v e foundations for t h e i r knowledge are systematically eroded by teachers and others who are ' i n ' on the inherently subjective nature of knowledge, young people are v a r i o u s l y portrayed as begrudgingly accepting a r e l a t i v i s e d view of knowledge (Kuhn, Pennington, and Leadbeater, 1983) and at best learning to get on with the sorts of commitments necessary to proceed with l i f e i n the face of r e l a t i v i s m (Perry, 1970), as moving beyond sol i p s i s m to some more r a t i o n a l p o s i t i o n of idealism, or as dodging the r e l a t i v i s t i c b u l l e t only by abandoning b e l i e f i n an objective r e a l i t y when a l t e r n a t i v e , non-r e l a t i v e , non-idiosyncratic t r u t h c r i t e r i a are a v a i l a b l e (Kitchener and King, 1981). For the most part, these t h e o r e t i c accounts of young adults' changing epistemic outlook have had as t h e i r p h i l o s o p h i c a l l y informed goal, the construction of an account of the ontogenetic pathway by which young people and, l a t e r , adults move towards a s p e c i f i c t e l e o l o g i c p o s i t i o n or endpoint. The nature of t h i s endpoint v a r i e s from theory to theory — r e l a t i v i s m for Piaget (1928) and Kuhn, Pennington, and Leadbeater (1983) and, at l e a s t i n terms of pure epistemic development, for Perry (1970) as well; o b j e c t i v e idealism for Broughton; and a Popperian or Dewinian notion of p r o b a b a l i s t i c t r u t h for Kitchener and King (1981). Such accounts add to a l i f e - s p a n d e s c r i p t i o n of epistemic development by charting such epistemic stations as may be encountered throughout adolescence and adulthood. Unfortunately, these same accounts accomplish l i t t l e i n the way of downward ontogenetic linkage between 26 these more mature epistemic considerations and the earlier recounted epistemic assumptions evidenced by preschool and early school aged children. The present thesis i s intended to go some distance towards providing an integrated life-span account of the development of people' beliefs about the nature and attainability of knowledge by tying the epistemic assumptions of adolescence more directly to other better documented cognitive-structural accomplishments. Central to this attempt to repatriate these ontogenetically divers accounts of the epistemic developmental course i s a further consideration of the darker side of the range of otherwise positive accomplishments of late childhood and adolescence. 27 CHAPTER 2 Epistemic Uncertainty and Formal Operations In the previous chapter, a series of a l t e r n a t i v e c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n s of the epistemic assumptions of young c h i l d r e n and of adolescents and adults were reviewed and i t was suggested that the emergence of serious epistemic doubt i n adolescence serves both to mark a t r a n s i t i o n from childhood to adolescence and as a conceptual bridge l i n k i n g e x i s t i n g accounts of epistemic development i n adolescence and adulthood. The purpose of the present section i s to present an account of how such epistemic development might be rela t e d to the course of cognit i v e development more generally. S p e c i f i c a l l y , i t w i l l be argued i n t h i s section that both the onset of epistemic doubt and the achievement of formal operational competence are underpinned by the same s t r u c t u r a l transformations i n thought. Epistemic doubts, according to the arguments introduced i n the preceeding chapter, emerge as one manifestation of s t i l l more fundamental cognitive changes thought to reshape the whole of adolescent cognition. These hypothesised transformations are generally understood, within the context of Piagetian theory (Piaget, 1970; Inhelder and Piaget, 1958), to represent major modifications i n the deep structure of thought, expressed i n and marked by the emergence of p a r t i c u l a r cognitive accomplishments common to t h i s developmental period. In order for any given change i n adolescent functioning to be understood as a r e f l e c t i o n of such hypothesised s t r u c t u r a l changes, two c r i t e r i a must be met. F i r s t , a compelling conceptual case must be made that the kind of observable changes that are had i n mind are i n fact changes of the sort which follow d i r e c t l y from the s t r u c t u r a l 28 transformations d e f i n i t i o n a l of emergent formal operational competence. The f i r s t part of t h i s chapter i s meant to make that conceptual case for the r e l a t i o n between formal operational thought and s k e p t i c a l doubt. Second, any p a r t i c u l a r change i n adolescent functioning which i s promoted as an a l t e r n a t i v e expression of the general emergence of formal operational structures of thought must be capable of being shown to be coextensive with other behavioral manifestations of that same structure. In the present case, t h i s requires an empirical demonstration that any measure which purports to document the emergence of s k e p t i c a l doubt i s hi g h l y r e l a t e d to other accepted measures of formal operational thought. O u t l i n i n g an empirical means of accomplishing t h i s purpose i s the task of the l a t t e r part of the present chapter. A conceptual case f o r the r e l a t i o n between formal operational  thought and the emergence of epistemic doubts. If epistemic doubt was being held out as an expression of concrete rather than formal operational thought, the empirical case could be made simply by trapping such doubts i n a nomological net woven of the many v a r i a b l e s commonly accepted as equivalent expressions of concrete operational thought. Through the evolution of a long research t r a d i t i o n , various measures of conservation, s e r i a t i o n , t r a n s i t i v i t y , and c l a s s i n c l u s i o n , have a l l come to be regarded as interchangable o p e r a t i o n a l i z a t i o n s of concrete operations (Elkind, 1974). Certain forms of r o l e taking, empathic s e n s i t i v i t y , and moral reasoning a l s o have come to be seen as a l t e r n a t i v e expressions of concrete operations on s i m i l a r grounds (Chandler, 1976, Chandler and Boyes, 1982, Shantz, 1975, 1983). Unfortunately, much less work has been done i n terms of p l o t t i n g the 29 various manifestations of those c o g n i t i v e structures meant to define formal operational thought (Neimark, 1975). While not nearly so well a r t i c u l a t e d as the research l i t e r a t u r e r e l a t e d to e a r l i e r a r r i v i n g concrete operational modes of thought, research i n t o l o g i c a l reasoning as described by Piaget's account of formal operational thought has expanded r a p i d l y over the past decade (Neimark, 1975, 1979). This increased i n t e r e s t i n adolescent cognition seems to have been motivated by two agendas: (1) a basic desire to better understand the nature of and developmental changes i n , adolescent cognition per se (Keating, 1980), and (2) a growing d i s s a t i s f a c t i o n with e x i s t i n g child-centered c o g n i t i v e development models which are perceived to have l i t t l e i f anything to say about the adult or l i f e - s p a n c o g n i t i v e , developmental course (Commons, Richard, and Armon, 1984). Both of these concerns have lead to an increase i n the amount of a t t e n t i o n being paid to the developmental course and c o r r e l a t e s of adolescent cognition, both as an end i n i t s e l f and as a point of departure f o r studying c o g n i t i v e developmental changes through adulthood. Since h i s early work on children's epistemologies, Piaget (1929) and his immediate colleagues came to be concerned almost e x c l u s i v e l y with the consequences of formal operations for the development of s c i e n t i f i c thought. Consistently, these i n v e s t i g a t o r s sought to o p e r a t i o n a l i z e formal operations by r e l y i n g almost e x c l u s i v e l y upon measures of hypothetico-deductive reasoning (Inhelder and Piaget, 1958). Despite the importance attached to the emergence of these formal structures, l i t t l e a d d i t i o n a l research has been done to l i n k them to t h e i r a n t i c i p a t e d s o c i a l consequences. The important work of Kohlberg and his co-workers ( G i l l i g a n and Kohlberg, 1971; Kohlberg and G i l l i g a n , 30 1971; and see Kohlberg, Levine, and Hewer, 1983; and Rest, 1983, for recent reviews), which i n t e r p r e t s post-conventional morality as a p a r t i a l expression of formal operational competency, stands as an i s o l a t e d exception to t h i s general r u l e . In p a r t i a l response to t h i s s h o r t f a l l an important piece of the agenda of t h i s thesis i s to further e x p l i c a t e the r e l a t i o n s between formal operational thought and the development of assumptions about the nature of the knowing process. Stated i n the most general of terms, what formal operations w i l l be argued to provide i s an opportunity to appreciate that people's b e l i e f s and knowledge are underdetermined by r e a l i t y as i t i s i n i t s e l f . From a very young age c h i l d r e n begin to appreciate that persons who share o s t e n s i v e l y the same s i t u a t i o n are often l ed to d i f f e r e n t conclusions. Concrete operational i n d i v i d u a l s r a t i o n a l i z e t h i s f a c t by l a y i n g r e s p o n s i b i l i t y for such contrasting knowledge claims at the door of v a r i a b l e informational access. This fundamentally r e a l i s t i c outlook captures what F l a v e l l ( i n press) i d e n t i f i e s as the middle-childhood understanding of both the nature of knowledge and the process of knowledge a q u i s i t i o n as i n v o l v i n g the " i n t e r p r e t i v e " i n s i g h t that two people's experience of, and therefore t h e i r knowledge of, a si n g l e event may be d i f f e r e n t . By contrast, i t w i l l be argued here that i t i s not u n t i l the achievement of formal operations during the adolescent period that subjects come for the f i r s t time to recognize that people have a personal hand i n the knowing process and that the claims they make about the world are not e n t i r e l y traceable to t h e i r d i f f e r e n t experiences (Chandler and Boyes, 1982; Chandler, i n press a ) . By t h i s account, i n t e r p r e t a t i o n comes to be understood by formal operational, but not younger people, to be a 31 subjective rather than an e x p e r i e n t i a l issue. This i s not to say that such newly ordained formal operational thinkers n e c e s s a r i l y leap quickly and d i r e c t l y from the ranks of the epistemic r e a l i s t s i n t o the camp of the epistemic r e l a t i v i s t s . As Swoyer (1982) suggests, a r r i v a l at a stance of true r e l a t i v i s m i n which a l l knowledge i s seen to be irredeemably person, cu l t u r e , or paradigm r e l a t i v e involves at l e a s t a two stage process. The f i r s t step, and that which i s taken here to be a natural sequella of the s h i f t to formal operational modes of thought, involves the adoption of a c o n s t r u c t i v i s t i c epistemology i n which the knower i s seen to somehow organize or c o n s t i t u t e what i s known. The second step (to be addressed i n the next section), according to Swoyer, requires the mounting of a general argument for the p r o p o s i t i o n that, given t h e i r m u l t i p l i s t i c view of r e a l i t y , there i s no uniformly correct way of deciding that one of these versions i s truer than another. It w i l l be argued here that these two steps amount to more than a r b i t r a r y components of a s i n g l e conceptual achievement, and represent instead, d i s t i n c t markers on the developmental path from simple realism to mature r e l a t i v i s m . In order to warrant t h i s claim more needs to be said about each of these stages and about how they r e l a t e to the o v e r a l l model of epistemic development being proposed. The f i r s t step, which involves the adoption of a c o n s t r u c t i v i s t i c epistemic stance, c a r r i e s with i t a r e a l i z a t i o n of the generic nature of doubt and i s the immediate subject of the present s e c t i o n . The second step, which involves reactions to t h i s r e a l i z a t i o n , w i l l be taken up i n chapter 3 below. Formal operations represents the f i n a l stage i n P i a g e t 1 s general account of c o g n i t i v e development (Piaget, 1970; Inhelder and Piaget, 32 1958). As has already been indicated, the p a r t i c u l a r focus of Piaget and his colleagues has been on the ontogenetic course of l o g i c a l reasoning. In l i g h t of t h i s , formal operational thought has r o u t i n e l y been understood to include a c o n s t e l l a t i o n of accomplishments centered upon the new found a b i l i t y to u t i l i z e hypothetico-deductive or p r o p o s i t i o n a l reasoning. Unlike t h e i r younger, concrete operational counterparts whose thoughts are understood to be c l o s e l y t i e d to empirical r e a l i t y , a signature feature of the thought of formal operational young people i s said to be t h e i r a b i l i t y to delineate the range of l o g i c a l p o s s i b i l i t i e s given any set of s t a r t i n g v a r i a b l e s . This enables young people's thoughts to guide, rather than be guided by, empirical i n v e s t i g a t i o n . This a b i l i t y i s understood to derive from the hypothetico-deductive or s c i e n t i f i c reasoning held by Piaget to be the crowning achievement of development and was seen by him to c o n s t i t u t e a d e f i n i t i o n a l feature of formal operational thought. Consequently, the existence and use of formal operational reasoning has been held to be i n d i c a t e d by the young persons' successful performance on such c l a s s i c Piagetian tasks as the Chemicals, Pendulum, and I s o l a t i o n of Variables Tasks (Inhelder and Piaget, 1958) and, more recently, on measures of s c i e n t i f i c and combinatorial reasoning ( A r l i n , 1978; Kuhn and Ho, 1977; Kuhn and Brannock, 1977; S i l l s and Herron, 1976). The a b i l i t y to r e f l e c t i v e l y consider the p r o p o s i t i o n a l contents of one's mind has a l s o been taken to imply, more broadly, that formal operational young people become capable, for the f i r s t time, of taking t h e i r own thoughts as objects of c o g n i t i v e contemplation (Elkind, 1974). This a b i l i t y i s held to underpin what i s generally referenced as the adolescent r e a l i z a t i o n of the s u b j e c t i v i t y of matters of personal contemplation. This s u b j e c t i v i t y of 33 perspective has been v a r i o u s l y held to be responsible for advancement to post-conventional l e v e l s of moral reasoning (Kohlberg, 1976), to lead to more advanced forms of s o c i a l perspective taking (Selman, 1980), and to " f u r n i s h the cognitive and evaluative basis for the assumption of adult r o l e s " (Inhelder and Piaget, 1958, p. 340). While the importance of an appreciation of the subjective nature of one's perspective f o r many aspects of adolescent s o c i a l cognition i s obvious (Keating, 1980), the l i n k between hypothetico-deductive reasoning and a grasp of the s u b j e c t i v i t y of the knowing process i s , nevertheless, far from c l e a r and w i l l be returned to below as a current t o p i c of c r i t i c a l debate. The contention being advanced and set to empirical t e s t i n t h i s t h e s i s i s that the formal operational r e f l e c t i v i t y d e t a i l e d above c a r r i e s with i t profound epistemological implications which a r i s e as part of the normal course of adolescent c o g n i t i v e development. In contrast to the hypothetico-deductive reasoning of formal operational adolescents, the reasoning of younger, concrete operational c h i l d r e n i s described as empirico-inductive or data-driven (Inhelder and Piaget, 1958). In epistemic terms t h i s t r a n s l a t e s to a d i s t i n c t i o n between c o n s t r u c t i v i s t i c epistemological p o s i t i o n s on the one hand and thoroughgoing r e a l i s t i c views on the other. The r e a l i s t i c nature of middle-childhood epistemology has been demonstrated by my own and other researchers' work i n the area of r o l e taking (Boyes, 1982; F l a v e l l , Green, and F l a v e l l , 1986; Taylor, 1985; Taylor and F l a v e l l , 1984) and by work i n the r e l a t e d domain of children's theories of mind ( F l a v e l l , i n press; Olson, i n press; Chandler, i n press a ) . F l a v e l l describes c h i l d r e n s ' theory of mind (see section 1.2 i n chapter 1) as i n t e r p r e t i v e i n the sense that they include an appreciation that d i f f e r e n t 34 experiences may lead to d i f f e r e n t knowledge about the world. Despite F l a v e l l ' s ( i n press) claim to the contrary, t h i s p a r t i c u l a r understanding of i n t e r p r e t a t i o n f a i l s to capture a common adolescent or adult understanding of the nature of the epistemic enterprise. F l a v e l l ' s d e f i n i t i o n of the sort of epistemic i n t e r p r e t a t i o n found i n middle childhood equates i t with experience i n a manner commensurate with a r e a l i s t i c epistemic p o s i t i o n . By contrast, what most adults r e a l i z e , by way of the r e f l e c t i v e i n s i g h t which i s a n t i c i p a t e d to r o u t i n e l y accompany the move to formal operational modes of thought i n adolescence, i s that there i s more to i n t e r p r e t a t i o n than experience. What such newly a r r i v e d formal operational thinkers appreciate instead i s that i n t e r p r e t a t i o n i s not e x c l u s i v e l y a post-hoc endeavor and that the d i s t o r t i v e lenses that give i d i o s y n c r a t i c meaning to experience are only metaphorically perched on one's nose — r e s i d i n g , instead, within the organizing framework of one's mind. What t h i s amounts to i s the r e a l i z a t i o n that knowledge i s a genuine i n t e r p r e t i v e achievement, that one's epistemological outlook i s n e c e s s a r i l y c o n s t r u c t i v i s t i c , and that doubts about the meaning of knowledge claims; when they a r i s e , may not be dismissed as l i m i t e d or c a s e - s p e c i f i c but have instead more far reaching i m p l i c a t i o n s . While t h i s i n s i g h t i n t o the p o t e n t i a l l y generic nature of doubt does not i n i t s e l f lead adolescents d i r e c t l y to a p o s i t i o n of pure epistemic r e l a t i v i s m , i t does, i t w i l l be maintained, put them on the road towards i t . By t h i s reasoning, past f a i l u r e s to demonstrate the existence of a r e l i a b l e r e l a t i o n s h i p between performances on standard measures of formal operations and measures intended to i n d i c a t e the presence of subjective or r e l a t i v i s t i c epistemic pos i t i o n s ( i . e . , 35 Kitchener and King, 1981) may be due a mistaken assumption. This p o t e n t i a l l y erroneous assumption involves the b e l i e f that formal operational competence underpins both of Swoyer's (1982) steps toward epistemological r e l a t i v i s m : (1) the adoption of a c o n s t r u c t i v i s t i c epistemology, and (2) the r e l a t i v i s t i c throwing up of one's hands i n the face of the r e a l i z a t i o n that multiple versions of the tr u t h e x i s t . In contrast to such views, the present argument contends that the s h i f t to formal operational modes of thought i n adolescence can be held d i r e c t l y responsible only for the f i r s t step i n Swoyer's two step process of epistemic t r a n s i t i o n . Consequently, i t i s hypothesised that the s h i f t to formal operational structures of thought leads d i r e c t l y to a c o n s t r u c t i v i s t i c epistemic outlook purchased at the cost of s k e p t i c a l doubt. The second step, which for Swoyer involves the adoption of a r e l a t i v i s t i c epistemic posture, i s understood within the context of the epistemic developmental model cur r e n t l y being proposed to n e c e s s a r i l y develop subsequent to the adoption of a c o n s t r u c t i v i s t i c epistemic stance and to represent one of three a l t e r n a t i v e reactions to the r e a l i z a t i o n of the generic nature of epistemic uncertainty. The nature and p o s s i b l e developmental ordering of these reactions to generic doubt w i l l be d e t a i l e d and discussed i n chapter 3 below. In what remains of the present section several recent c r i t i q u e s of the use of the concept of formal operational reasoning to account for much of what i s taken to be unique to the adolescent period w i l l be addressed. This section w i l l then close with a d e s c r i p t i o n of the empirical strategy by which the hypothesised r e l a t i o n between formal operational thought and generic doubt was evaluated. 36 Despite, or more l i k e l y because of, the recent expansion of i n t e r e s t and research i n t o adolescent aspects of c o g n i t i v e development, p r e c i s e l y what i s meant by formal operations i s less than c l e a r . Recent c r i t i q u e s of the Piagetian concept of formal operations, narrowly defined as a f a c i l i t y for p r o p o s i t i o n a l l o g i c , have been of three s o r t s . F i r s t , the adequacy of Piaget's d e s c r i p t i o n of the l o g i c a l reasoning which defines formal operational competence has been d i r e c t l y challenged as an inappropriate account of the natural reasoning of adolescents and young adults (Braine, 1978; and Ennis, 1976). This c r i t i q u e does not bear d i r e c t l y upon the present concern over adolescents' epistemological p o s i t i o n s beyond suggesting that not only i s there more to adolescence than formal l o g i c , there i s a l s o more to l o g i c a l reasoning than formal l o g i c . The implications of t h i s c r i t i q u e f o r measuring formal operations w i l l be taken up below i n section 5.4 of chapter 5. The second type of c r i t i q u e bears more d i r e c t l y upon the issues of concern i n t h i s thesis than does the f i r s t , i n that i t targets the most commonly featured component of formal operational thought — the a b i l i t y to subordinate the actual to the p o s s i b l e . While Piaget's (1970) contention that within formal operational thought the actual may be considered as a s p e c i a l case of the p o s s i b l e i s more e a s i l y interpreted i n the realm of p r o p o s i t i o n a l l o g i c , t h i s same assumption, re-read as an argument i n favour of s u b j e c t i v i t y , has been assumed to have important s o c i a l a p p l i c a t i o n for r o l e taking (Selman, 1980), person perception ( L i v e s l y and Bromley, 1973; Boyes and Chandler, 1984), and the process of knowledge a c q u i s i t i o n (Chandler and Boyes, 1982). The importance of t h i s notion of s u b j e c t i v i t y f or conceptually l i n k i n g such diverse accomplishments as r o l e taking, post-conventional moral reasoning, and 37 career s e l e c t i o n to the achievement of formal operational thought has encouraged the c r i t i c i s m that Piagetian formal operations cannot account for the r e a l i z a t i o n of the subjective nature of experience. This c r i t i q u e amounts to the claim that formal operational thought, narrowly defined as. hypothetico-deductive reasoning, i s i n s u f f i c i e n t , or even unnecessary, to account for the many strengths and weaknesses c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of the adolescent experience (Broughton, 1977, 1984; B l a s i and Hoeffal, 1974). By these l i g h t s , i t i s thought to be inappropriate to charge the formal operational a b i l i t y to employ hypothetical-deductive reasoning with causal r e s p o n s i b i l i t y for any normative aspects of adolescent development given that, by l i b e r a l estimates, only 60% of c o l l e g e educated young adults succeed on standard formal operational tasks (Ausubel and Ausubel, 1966; Keating, 1980). Although c e r t a i n q u a l i f i c a t i o n s are i n order, much of the thrust of t h i s c r i t i q u e seems inescapable. B l a s i and Hoeffal (1974) convincingly argue that formal reasoning i s not a necessary part of the adolescent task of generating and making choices and getting on with one's l i f e . How young people approach such issues may vary, however, and many of these di f f e r e n c e s depend, i t w i l l be argued, upon whether the doubts they experience are of the c a s e - s p e c i f i c or generic v a r i e t y . The reasons why t h i s i s true w i l l be taken up i n more d e t a i l i n chapter 3 i n the course of d e t a i l i n g the p o t e n t i a l range of young persons' reactions to the r e a l i z a t i o n of the s k e p t i c a l nature of doubt, and i n chapter 4 where the r e l a t i o n between the proposed epistemic developmental model and the i d e n t i t y formation process i s discussed. The second h a l f of B l a s i and Hoeffal's c r i t i q u e — the claim that the r e f l e x i v e nature of p r o p o s i t i o n a l l o g i c i s i n s u f f i c i e n t to account 38 for the r e f l e c t i v e s u b j e c t i v i t y , or r e l a t i v i s m of adolescence and young adulthood — i s equally compelling but only to the extent that i t applies to a view of formal operations as being r e s t r i c t e d to the a c q u i s i t i o n of p r o p o s i t i o n a l reasoning. The imp l i c a t i o n of Inhelder and Piaget's claim that "there i s more to thinking than l o g i c " (1958, p. 335) i s that there i s more to the adolescent s t r u c t u r a l reorganization of thought which underpins formal operational modes of thought than p r o p o s i t i o n a l l o g i c . As w i l l be elaborated below, the advent of a f a c i l i t y f o r formal reasoning i s but one expression, a l b e i t a well studied expression, of formal operational thought. A c e n t r a l purpose of t h i s t h e s i s i s to suggest another such expression i n the form of the r e a l i z a t i o n of s k e p t i c a l doubt and the range of subsequent reactions to th i s more vexing form of epistemic uncertainty. A t h i r d c r i t i q u e of the supposed hegemony of formal operational thought i s re l a t e d to the second and i s premised upon the b e l i e f that formal operations, again narrowly defined as p r o p o s i t i o n a l reasoning, i s an innappropriate endpoint for development. Consistent with t h i s view, a v a r i e t y of attempts have been made to extend Piaget's account of development i n t o adulthood ( A r l i n , 1975, 1977, 1984; Basseches, 1984; Riegel, 1973; Sinnott, 1984) or to move beyond Piaget and adopt other theoretic means to describe and account for the course of cognit i v e development through adulthood (Broughton, 197,7, 1984). A l l of the forementioned c r i t i q u e s represent v a l i d concerns and i t i s not intended that t h i s thesis should attempt to refute them. Instead, i t i s agreed that formal operations cannot stand as the f i n a l account of the s o c i a l cognitive a b i l i t i e s of adolescent young people. The epistemic developmental model proposed i n t h i s thesis represents an attempt to add 39 a piece to the puzzle of our understanding of the development of thought during adolescence and young adulthood. The purpose of t h i s t h e s i s i s not then to convergently v a l i d a t e the proposed epistemic developmental model against a ser i e s of measures of formal operations but, rather, to demonstrate that the appreciation of. s k e p t i c a l doubt and the achievement of those l o g i c a l reasoning a b i l i t i e s r e f e r r e d to as formal operations share a common s t r u c t u r a l o r i g i n . An empirical case for the r e l a t i o n between formal operational  thought and the emergence of epistemic doubts. The upshot of the foregoing summary i s that any empirical attempt to e s t a b l i s h that the emergence of epistemic doubt i s i n f a c t an a l t e r n a t i v e manifestation of the achievement of formal operational structures i s constrained and can proceed only by attempting to mount a demonstration that the occurrence of such doubts i s c o i n c i d e n t a l with success on some set of standard Piagetian measures of hypothetico-deductive reasoning. Providing such a demonstration i s , then, an important part of t h i s t h e s i s . In order to accomplish t h i s purpose i t was necessary to se l e c t several measures of hypothetico-deductive reasoning from the range of a v a i l a b l e tasks (Neimark, 1979). The basis upon which t h i s s e l e c t i o n was made i s taken up i n section 5.4 of chapter 5 below. In a d d i t i o n , a r a t i o n a l e and procedure for detecting the presence of s k e p t i c a l doubt and gauging young peoples' reaction to i t was required. A d e s c r i p t i o n of these measurement e f f o r t s w i l l be the focus of section 5.5 of chapter 5. It i s necessary to be clear at t h i s point about p r e c i s e l y what kind of a network of empirical r e l a t i o n s i s a n t i c i p a t e d between the measures of formal operations and the measure of s k e p t i c a l doubt that were 40 adopted. As described above, formal operational thought i s not being held out here as the cause of s k e p t i c a l doubts, nor i s i t being suggested that the formal operational stage i s a necessary precondition for such doubts. Instead, the measure of s k e p t i c a l doubt and the other more f a m i l i a r measures of formal operations to be employed are understood here as a l t e r n a t i v e means of indexing the self-same-underlying c o g n i t i v e structure. Consequently, i t i s hypothesised that, within measurement error, any and a l l subjects who otherwise evidence formal operational competencies w i l l a l s o manifest s k e p t i c a l doubts, and, by contrast, that any subject who i s scored as concrete operational w i l l evidence a p e r s i s t e n t l y r e a l i s t i c epistemology. The measurement strategies employed to test these hypotheses are d e t a i l e d i n sections 5.4 to 5.6 of the methods section (chapter 5). Summary of Hypotheses and Empirical Issues As o u t l i n e d i n the preceding section, t h i s study introduces the achievement of s k e p t i c a l doubt as an important milestone i n the course of adolescent development and attempts to substantiate i t s importance by showing i t s relevance to the achievement of formal operational competency. To summarize what was discussed i n d e t a i l above, two key hypotheses may be i d e n t i f i e d . 1. Adolescence i s generally marked by a t r a n s i t i o n from an e a r l i e r set of r e a l i s t i c assumptions to a more r e l a t i v i s e d c o n s t r u c t i v i s t i c epistemology which e n t a i l s a necessary loss of absolute c e r t a i n t y and the emergence of s k e p t i c a l doubt. This general hypothesis w i l l receive empirical support to the extent that procedures desigried to s i g n a l the presence or absence of such s k e p t i c a l doubt discriminate adolescent from pre-adolescent subjects. 41 2. The preceding age graded hypothesis is understood to be only a rough approximation of a more refined set of expectations to the effect that the emergence of nascent skeptical doubt i s in fact an alternative manifestation of the self-same cognitive structures that also mark the appearance of formal operational thought. This assumption w i l l be supported to the extent that measures of skeptical doubt and formal operations prove to be redundant. How formal operational adolescents who otherwise give evidence of experiencing uncertainties about the ultimate decidability of conflicting knowledge claims w i l l undertake to manage their own epistemic doubts is the subject of the section that immediately follows. 42 CHAPTER 3 Epistemic Development i n Adolescence and Adulthood Within the present i n t e r p r e t i v e framework, the abandonment of realism and the r e a l i z a t i o n of the prospect of generic doubt, along with the counterpart loss of epistemic innocence i t e n t a i l s , i s understood to be the natural consequence of movement to a formal operational mode of thought and represent the f i r s t step i n the proposed model of epistemic development. The i d e n t i f i c a t i o n of stages prodromal to the sort of epistemic realism hypothesised here are d e t a i l e d elsewhere (Boyes, 1982; Chandler and Boyes, 1982). What remains to be elucidated i s the subsequent nature of epistemic development heralded by the r e a l i z a t i o n of such generic doubt. What formal operations have been argued to provide young people (see chapter 2) i s the a b i l i t y to take the f i r s t of Swoyer's (1982) steps towards r e l a t i v i s m ; that i s , the r e a l i z a t i o n that the knowledge a c q u i s i t i o n process i s a c o n s t r u c t i v i s t i c e n t e r p r i s e . The consequences of t h i s r e a l i z a t i o n has occupied philosophers and s o c i a l s c i e n t i s t s for a very long time. Descartes, for example, recognized that to deny that there are determinate and unambiguous c r i t e r i a for knowledge leads to "the dread madness and chaos where nothing i s f i x e d , where we can neither touch bottom nor support ourselves on the surface" ( c i t e d i n Bernstein, 1983, p. 18). Hume, when faced with a s i m i l a r i n s i g h t i n t o the s u b j e c t i v i t y of knowledge claimed that he was "ready to r e j e c t a l l b e l i e f and reason and to look upon no opinion ever as more probable or u n l i k e l y that any other" (Hume, reprinted 1938, p. 267). Contemporary philosophers a l s o i d e n t i f y a s i m i l a r sort of fundamentally problematic aspect of knowledge. Feyerabend (1975) speaks of "epistemological 43 anarchism," Maclntyre (1984) of "metaphysical homelessness," and Douglas (1971) of "the spectre of solipsism." S o c i a l s c i e n t i s t s have also r e f l e c t e d upon t h i s issue and have referenced i t with such descriptors as "the prospect of epistemological l o n e l i n e s s " (Chandler, 1975) and "the v e r t i g o of r e l a t i v i s m " (Berger and Luckman, 1967). In add i t i o n , other commentators upon the human condition have addressed t h i s same theme and a r r i v e d at s i m i l a r conclusions. Neitzsche (1956) spoke of the "weightlessness of a l l things" and Kundera (1984) spoke of "the unbearable lightness of being." C l e a r l y something l i k e what Bernstein (1983), i n reviewing these and other philosophic statements of t h i s problem, r e f e r r e d to as "Cartesian anxiety" has figured c e n t r a l l y i n the thoughts of writers, philosophers, and s o c i a l s c i e n t i s t s a l i k e . In the previous section of t h i s t h e s i s , i t was argued, however, that such epistemic doubts are not the exclusive domain of philosophers but represent, instead, a common p i t f a l l i n the usual course of cognitive development. Philosophers over the ages have proposed a v a r i e t y of solu t i o n s t r a t e g i e s to the problem of epistemic uncertainty endendered by generic doubts (see Krausz and Meiland, 1982, or H o l l i s and Lukes, 1982 for an overview). As was previewed i n the introduction, these s o l u t i o n s t r a t e g i e s tend to be of three general types. These include: (1) The dogmatic b e l i e f that while one may lack personal access to tru t h , experts or s p e c i a l methods e x i s t through which second hand access to c e r t a i n knowledge may s t i l l be attained; (2) The s k e p t i c a l assumption that no p r i v i l e d g e d p o s i t i o n or access to objec t i v e t r u t h e x i s t s and consequently that no r a t i o n a l grounds may be found to warrant the conclusion that one b e l i e f or claim i s any better or worse than any 44 other; and (3) F i n a l l y , a r a t i o n a l i s t p o s i t i o n which, while agreeing with the skeptic's a s s e r t i o n that no d i r e c t or i n d i r e c t routes to c e r t a i n knowledge e x i s t , maintains that such c e r t a i n t y i s not a necessary p r e r e q u i s i t e to r a t i o n a l l y guided a c t i o n or b e l i e f . Commitments redeemed through r a t i o n a l discourse (Perry, 1970; Broughton, 1974), t e s t s of i n t e r n a l consistency and strategies of f a l s i f i a b i l i t y (Kitchener and King, 1981) are among the ways i n which one may procede r a t i o n a l l y i n the face of generic doubt. Various p h i l o s o p h i c a l arguments have been advanced for why one of these s o l u t i o n strategies ought to be considered superior to other solutions (for reviews see Bernstein, 1983, or Chandler, i n press b), and there are no generally accepted grounds for advocating one of these st r a t e g i e s over another. This fact does not preclude the p o s s i b i l i t y , however, of the existence of a coherent and o r d e r l y developmental progression through such epistemic stances, and on such ontogenetic grounds standards for evaluating these a l t e r n a t i v e prospects are p o t e n t i a l l y a v a i l a b l e . Despite the r e a c t i v e assumption that epistemic development i s promoted by a l i b e r a l a r t s education, researchers such as Perry (1970), Broughton (1974), Kitchener and King (1981), and Kuhn, Pennington, and Leadbeater (1983) have viewed such epistemic development as proceding through an ordered series of stages or assumptions regarding the nature of knowledge. This process i s generally understood to begin within a l a t e childhood p o s i t i o n of epistemic realism, v a r i o u s l y r e f e r r e d to as naive r e a l i s m (Broughton, 1974), dualism (Perry, 1970), and realism (Kuhn et a l . , 1983). Development i s understood to proceed beyond t h i s l e v e l through an i n i t i a l b e l i e f that r e a l i t y i s complex and m u l t i -45 faceted but s t i l l o b j e c t i v e l y determined ( i . e . , o bjective multiplism (Perry, 1970) or perspectivism (Kuhn et a l . , 1983)) to a p o s i t i o n i n which knowledge i s viewed as inherently subjective or person r e l a t i v e . The point at which the course of such epistemic development i s taken up i n t h i s thesis i s that period i n l a t e childhood or e a r l y adolescence during which knowledge i s believed to consist of persona l l y a t t a i n a b l e or v e r i f i a b l e f a c t s . According to t h i s r e a l i s t i c epistemic stance, the case for the r a t i o n a l i t y of one's thoughts or b e l i e f s need not be argumentatively redeemed but res t s instead upon an a b i l i t y to produce the relevant f a c t s . It i s i n t o t h i s r e a l i s t i c context that generic doubts, born on the back of one's newly acquired formal operational competencies, are seen to a r r i v e . One strategy f o r regaining l o s t c e r t a i n t y i n matters of knowledge, or at le a s t gaining as much c e r t a i n t y as i s necessary to procede (Penelhum, 1967, Shotter, 1984), i s to adopt new c r i t e r i a for warranting one's b e l i e f s or knowledge. Such new c r i t e r i a f o r r a t i o n a l i t y would have to be q u a l i t a t i v e l y d i s t i n c t from any form of r e a l i s t i c a l l y grounded c r i t e r i a which grant the knower d i r e c t access to the confirmatory f a c t s of any matter. The adoption of such r a t i o n a l c r i t e r i a , whether they involve Perry's (1970) notion of commitment or some v a r i a t i o n of Kitchener and King's (1981) c r i t e r i o n of i n t e r n a l consistency and f a l s i f i a b i l i t y , ought to be c l e a r l y d i s t i n g u i s h a b l e from other more immature and r e a l i s t i c a l l y grounded o b j e c t i v e truth c r i t e r i a . Between these two endpoints of epistemic c e r t a i n t y , one absolute and the other r a t i o n a l , l i e the remaining pair of assumptive epistemic p o s i t i o n s to be described here — dogmatism and skepticism. While d i s t i n g u i s h a b l e and even oppositional on many grounds, these a l t e r n a t i v e 46 views are, as Gadamer (1975) has pointed out, indistinguishable with regards to what they hold to be the necessary c r i t e r i a for rationality. Both share the common assumption that some form of access to certain knowledge i s an essential component of any claim for rationality (Bernstein, 1983). The implication of this common foundational belief i s that i t disallows a l l those who share i t any hope of personally satisfying their own c r i t e r i a for rationally guided thought or belief. In each case personal access to undoubtable knowledge i s simultaneously seen as necessary and unavailable. The epistemic assumptions of dogmatists and skeptics d i f f e r , however, in the course of action each recommends. Faced with the loss of personal c r i t e r i a for rationality one may attempt, by adopting a dogmatic stance, to regain a sense of lost certainty by slavishly adhering to the dictates of some external expert or expert-derived method. In sharp contrast to this reliance upon borrowed truths, one can opt instead to take a skeptical turn and despair of the prospect of ever identifying r e a l i s t i c a l l y derived c r i t e r i a for rationality. Believing that they lack the grounds upon which to make defensibly rational choices, such skeptics, when forced by circumstance into some decision, make the choices they do on exp l i c i t l y non-rational grounds such as impulsivism (acting without thought), intuitionism (doing what affect demands), conformism (doing the done thing), or indifferentism (tossing a coin). While i t follows from what has been said so far that realism and rationalism ought to be ontologically distinct, both from one another and from the axis of dogmatism and skepticism that divides them, the same cannot be said about these intervening alternatives. Because of their shared commitment to the notion that acceptable levels of 47 c e r t a i n t y require knowledge that i s beyond doubt, i t i s not immediately apparent whether these otherwise contrasting views c o n s t i t u t e a s i n g l e epistemic p o s i t i o n or follow one another i n some f i x e d order. The p r o v i s i o n a l answer to t h i s question to be adopted i n the present study i s that dogmatic views precede rather than follow or occur simultaneously with t h e i r s k e p t i c a l counterparts. The grounds upon which t h i s t e n t a t i v e claim rests have to do with the a f f i n i t y between these a l t e r n a t i v e views and the epistemic postures out of which they emerge and toward which they seem dr i v e n . Because dogmatists r e l y on the d i c t a t e s or methods provided for them by external a u t h o r i t i e s they appear on these grounds to be more s i m i l a r to t h e i r younger r e a l i s t i c counterparts than to other more f u l l y r a t i o n a l adolescents or adults. In contrast to both of these groups, skeptics have more c l e a r l y moved beyond t h e i r e a r l i e r r e a l i s t i c dependence on objective c r i t e r i a for tr u t h and have taken a necessary step towards a more r a t i o n a l epistemic stance. On these grounds, dogmatism can be regarded as less mature than, even i f i n some ways s t r u c t u r a l l y equivalent to, the s k e p t i c a l p o s i t i o n s with which i t shares c e r t a i n p r i m i t i v e assumptions. The p r o v i s i o n a l developmental ordering of dogmatism and skepticism out l i n e d above suggests that young people i n i t i a l l y respond to the prospect of uncertainty by t r y i n g to salvage what i s l e f t of absolute v e r a c i t y through dogmatically p l a c i n g t h e i r f a i t h i n the d i c t a t e s of experts. Once commited to t h i s course, something l i k e the skeptics' wholesale c o l l a p s e of c e r t a i n knowledge would appear to be a necessary p r e r e q u i s i t e to the subsequent formulation of any r a t i o n a l epistemic stance i n which good reasons replace obj e c t i v e t r u t h as the proper c r i t e r i a for warranting one's b e l i e f s . What t h i s suggests i s a p o t e n t i a l 48 m u l t i l i n e a r path to mature forms of r a t i o n a l i t y . One could either move d i r e c t l y from a r e a l i s t i c epistemic stance through an intervening s k e p t i c a l p o s i t i o n enroute to an eventual r a t i o n a l posture or, i n a l a s t d i t c h e f f o r t to salvage absolutism, one may take a detour i n t o dogmatism. In e i t h e r case, by the present account one must eventually pass through a period of skepticism before the option of a r a t i o n a l p o s i t i o n becomes v i a b l e . Ultimately, empirical confirmation of t h i s proposed developmental sequence w i l l require a l o n g i t u d i n a l a n a l y s i s that s u c c e s s f u l l y traces the course of epistemic development i n s i n g l e subjects from a s t a r t i n g p o s i t i o n i n naive realism, through a d i s r u p t i v e episode of skepticism (with or without the frequent detour i n t o dogmatism), to the eventual adoption of more r a t i o n a l views. A necessary f i r s t step i n t h i s a n a l y t i c process, and the one adopted i n t h i s t h e s i s , i s to delay such a l o n g i t u d i n a l a nalysis u n t i l there i s s u f f i c i e n t c r o s s - s e c t i o n a l support fo r the ideas being proposed to warrant pursuing them f u r t h e r . Most conventionally, such an approach would require e s t a b l i s h i n g a rough connection between age and changing epistemic posture. A more t e l l i n g and t h e o r e t i c a l l y r i c h a n a l y s i s , however, requires a demonstration that the process of epistemic development being proposed i s shepherded by conceptually r e l a t e d changes i n the course of c o g n i t i v e development more generally. As was argued i n the previous section, the onset of formal operational thought i s assumed here to be r e f l e c t i v e of the same cognitive s t r u c t u r a l changes that i n i t i a l l y open young people to the prospect of generic doubt. This l i n e of reasoning leads to the t e s t a b l e expectation that before acquiring formal operational competence a l l young people w i l l be epistemic r e a l i s t s and conversely, that a l l persons 49 capable of formal operational reasoning w i l l be locatable somewhere along a dimension that runs from an axis of skepticism and dogmatism to an eventual p o s i t i o n of p o s t - s k e p t i c a l r a t i o n a l i s m . Once t h i s general p r e d i c t i o n has been tested, subjects' responses w i l l be examined i n an e f f o r t to determine the extent to which t h e i r reactions to doubt and uncertainty further conform to the stage model being proposed. In what remains of t h i s section, the c r i t e r i a for evaluating adherence to such a s t r i c t stage model w i l l be described, and the empirical means by which the proposed epistemic model's adherence to these c r i t e r i a were evaluated w i l l be d e t a i l e d . In b r i e f , any developmental account that aspires to q u a l i f y as a strong stage model needs to conform to what are described below as the structure c r i t e r i o n , the sequence c r i t e r i o n , and the hierarchy c r i t e r i o n (Piaget, 1960, Kohlberg, Levine, and Hewer, 1983). The structure c r i t e r i o n holds that each stage i n a proposed stage sequence constitutes a h o l i s t i c structure. Translated i n t o empirical terms t h i s c r i t e r i a demands that people be i n t e r n a l l y consistent i n the stage to.which t h e i r responses are assigned across varying contents and contexts. Somewhat l i b e r a l i z e d , t h i s same c r i t e r i o n holds that when a l l of an i n d i v i d u a l ' s responses are not at a s i n g l e stage they w i l l always be found at adjoining stages (presumably such i n d i v i d u a l s are i n t r a n s i t i o n to the next higher stage). What t h i s t r a n s l a t e s i n t o i s the expectation, based on the structure c r i t e r i o n , that the majority of a subject's claims about epistemic issues ought to be at the subject's modal epistemic stage with a lesser amount, i f any, at the next higher or next lower stage. Substantial numbers of subjects whose responses were spread over two stages or any appreciable number of responses 50 spread over more than two stages would count as evidence against the model f u l f i l l i n g t h i s structure c r i t e r i o n . The sequence c r i t e r i o n holds that within any developmental sequence which conforms to the standards of a strong stage model, the stages w i l l be attained i n an inv a r i a n t order and that development i s always to the next higher l e v e l . This amounts to the r e l a t e d requirements that there be no regression or skipping of stages and, while experience may a f f e c t the rate of stage attainment, i t should not a f f e c t the order of attainment. A complete evaluation of any stage model's adherence to t h i s c r i t e r i o n obviously requires repeated t e s t i n g of the same subjects. Following the same subjects over time i s absolutely necessary to check for the presence of regressions i n epistemic stage. Experimental e f f o r t s i n which short t e s t - r e t e s t i n t e r v a l s are interspersed with i n s t r u c t i o n , counterarguments, or other inducements to move to higher stages are necessary to t e s t for the presence of stage skipping. Such strong t e s t s of the sequence c r i t e r i o n are not p o s s i b l e within the present cross-s e c t i o n a l design and thus, i n the present study, any support for the proposed epistemic stage model having adequately s a t i s f i e d the sequence c r i t e r i o n w i l l , of necessity, be i n d i r e c t . The appropriateness of holding the epistemic stage model to the no-regression component of the sequence c r i t e r i o n would c e r t a i n l y be c a l l e d i n t o serious question by philosophers who would t o l e r a t e no predetermined constraint upon t h e i r attempts to convert others to t h e i r own favoured epistemological p o s i t i o n , be i t r e a l i s t i c , dogmatic, s k e p t i c a l , or r a t i o n a l . Disallowing regression within the epistemic stage model amounts to s e t t i n g a c o n s t r a i n t of t h i s s o r t . S t r u c t u r a l theories of development such as Piaget's theory of c o g n i t i v e 51 development (Piaget, 1970) or Kohlberg's theory of moral reasoning development (Kohlberg, Levine, and Hewer, 1983) do, however, a n t i c i p a t e no such general regression to p r e v i o u s l y attained stages. From within these developmental perspectives, each successive stage i s understood to subsume and h i e r a r c h i c a l l y i n t e g r a t e the preceding stage (see the hierarchy c r i t e r i o n below). People scored at advanced l e v e l s within these s t r u c t u r a l stage models of development may o c c a s i o n a l l y give responses c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of e a r l i e r stages but such responses are understood to represent v a r i a t i o n s i n performance and not underlying s t r u c t u r a l competence. What i s not yet clear i s whether the epistemic stage model under consideration i s comprised of stages of t h i s strong sort, or whether the stages conform to some weaker pattern through which a normative but neither necessary nor i r r e v e r s i b l e course i s steered during adolescence and young adulthood (Noam, 1980; Noam, Kohlberg, and Snarey, 1983). The foregoing conceptual a n a l y s i s of the range of a l t e r n a t i v e responses to the r e a l i z a t i o n of the generic nature of doubt suggests that, while other issues remain unsettled, at l e a s t the order i n which epistemic stances, beyond realism, are i n i t i a l l y achieved i s constrained. In moving from a p o s i t i o n of realism towards one of r a t i o n a l i s m i t i s assumed here to be u n l i k e l y that the idea of an o b j e c t i v e l y grounded theory of knowledge w i l l be discarded at the f i r s t i n d i c a t i o n that a l l doubts are not c a s e - s p e c i f i c . For t h i s reason, a f u l l s k e p t i c a l acceptance of the subjective character of knowledge should r o u t i n e l y follow rather than proceed dogmatic attempts to shore up the f a i l i n g o b j e c t i v i s t i c e n t e r p r i s e . F i n a l l y , i t i s only a f t e r the dogmatic prospect of regaining access to c e r t a i n knowledge has been 52 s k e p t i c a l l y dismissed that non-objectively grounded, r a t i o n a l epistemologies are seen to be both needed and po s s i b l e . Establishment of t h i s developmental ordering i n t h i s and future empirical e f f o r t s would strengthen the present claim that t h i s model of adolescent epistemic stage development constitutes a strong rather than a weak stage model. The expectation regarding t h i s and other s t r u c t u r a l developmental models i s that the d i r e c t i o n , but not the endpoint, of development i s f i x e d . By these l i g h t s , while upward movement through the stages should be r e l a t e d to age, no s p e c i f i c p r e d i c t i o n may be advanced about where the majority of young people at a given grade l e v e l w i l l be found. Counting against t h i s i n t e r p r e t a t i o n , however, i s the p o s s i b i l i t y that movement between dogmatic and sk e p t i c a l epistemic p o s i t i o n s may be b i - d i r e c t i o n a l . That i s , people who had given up hope of personally f i n d i n g objective truth, while s t i l l b e l i e v i n g that such truths are needed f o r making r a t i o n a l l y guided choices, may a l t e r n a t i v e l y discover and then s k e p t i c a l l y r e j e c t a whole serie s of experts, gurus, or methods temporarily imagined to o f f e r access to the objective f a c t s . This p o s s i b i l i t y w i l l be returned to again i n chapter 6 and discussed i n l i g h t of r e s u l t s regarding the r e l a t i o n s h i p between epistemic stage and ego-identity status. Despite these caveats, i t i s a n t i c i p a t e d that movement through the epistemic stages w i l l occur i n the a n t i c i p a t e d order and d i r e c t i o n and be evidenced i n the present c r o s s - s e c t i o n a l study by a greater incidence of the more advanced stages of skepticism and r a t i o n a l i s m among the senior as opposed to the junior grade l e v e l s . The f i n a l designation of 53 the epistemic stage model as "weak" or "strong" i n the sense d e t a i l e d above awaits further, l o n g i t u d i n a l , i n v e s t i g a t i o n . The hierarchy c r i t e r i o n addresses the extent to which each stage represents a h i e r a r c h i c a l i n t e g r a t i o n of previous stages. This c r i t e r i o n i s based on the understanding that each stage i s not attained at the expense of the preceding stage but rather includes or subsumes i t . Within the present epistemic stage model, dogmatism, f or example, i n contrast to realism, includes an appreciation that there i s often more to our thoughts than simple cumulative experiences. Skepticism adds to t h i s dogmatic understanding the appreciation that not only do persons i n t e n t i o n a l l y manipulate facts but that a l l knowledge i s inh e r e n t l y and unavoidably shaped by the perspectives of those who employ i t . S i m i l a r l y , r a t i o n a l i s m does not r e j e c t , but rather moves beyond the in s i g h t s of skepticism. On these conceptual grounds, then, some case can be made that the proposed model does conform to the hierarchy c r i t e r i o n . Included within t h i s hierarchy c r i t e r i o n i s the further contention that people w i l l recognize the increased adequacy of each successive epistemic stage but w i l l not lose the a b i l i t y to recognize or employ lower l e v e l epistemic ideas or assumptions. The most d i r e c t t e s t of t h i s p o s s i b i l i t y involves r e q u i r i n g subjects to sele c t , from p a i r s of statements, the one they take to be more adequate (Walker, de V r i e s , and Bichard, 1984; K u r f i s s , 1977). Short of t h i s sort of a d i r e c t t e s t , some i n d i r e c t evidence, more conceptual than empirical, w i l l be examined ( i n r section 6.2 of chapter 6) i n the context of the present study i n order to determine whether the hypothesis that the proposed epistemic stage model conforms, at le a s t i n d i r e c t l y , to the constraints of the hierarchy c r i t e r i o n . 54 The extent to which the epistemic stage model conforms to these several c r i t e r i a as observed i n the responses of a sample of high-school students to a series of measures w i l l be evaluated below i n section 6.2 of chapter 6. Summary of Hypotheses and Empirical Issues The nature of the r e l a t i o n a n t i c i p a t e d to obtain between epistemic doubt and formal operations has been d e t a i l e d i n an e a r l i e r section. The present section sought to sketch out the course of epistemic development beyond naive realism and to i d e n t i f y the c r i t e r i a and means by which i t might be v e r i f i e d e m p i r i c a l l y . The following hypotheses summarize the r e s u l t s of t h i s conceptual e f f o r t . Formal operational adolescents who otherwise give evidence of experiencing u n c e r t a i n t i e s about the ultimate d e c i d a b i l i t y of c o n f l i c t i n g knowledge claims w i l l undertake to manage t h e i r own sk e p t i c a l doubts by adopting response strategies r e f e r r e d to here as: dogmatic, s k e p t i c a l , and r a t i o n a l . This hypothesis requires, as a precondition of i t s support, that subject responses to the measure of sk e p t i c a l doubt be r e l i a b l y and exhaustively coded as f a l l i n g i n t o one of these three response modes. If t h i s condition i s met i t w i l l then be p o s s i b l e to examine, i n a p r o v i s i o n a l c r o s s - s e c t i o n a l manner, the extent to which these three d i s t i n c t response modes represent l e v e l s within a s p e c i f i a b l e o ntogenetically ordered model of epistemic development. To t h i s end, the extent to which the proposed model adheres to the c r i t e r i a for a s t r i c t stage model ( i . e . , the structure, sequence, and hierarchy c r i t e r i a ) w i l l be evaluated. 55 In the sections which follow, the nature of the relationships that are anticipated between the epistemic stage model and measures of other aspects of social cognitive development w i l l be detailed and empirically evaluated. 56 CHAPTER 4 Epistemic Doubt and Ego-Identity Status The question to be addressed i n t h i s section i s the l i k e l y bearing which epistemic doubt has upon the process of adolescent i d e n t i t y formation. As Erikson (1959, 1968), and a host of others (Coleman, Herzberg, and Morris, 1977; Crook, 1980; Douvan and Adelson, 1966; Josselson, 1980; Marcia, 1980; Matteson, 1972; Newman and Newman, 1978; Slugoski, Marcia, and Koopman, 1984; and Waterman, 1982) have argued, the c e n t r a l task of the adolescent period i s to or i e n t one's s e l f to the range of commitments that impending adulthood demands. In our present time and cu l t u r e , c h i l d r e n are usually excused from the task of making serious occupational and i d e o l o g i c a l commitments and are not expected to form new, l a s t i n g intimate r e l a t i o n s (Baumeister and Tice , i n press; Elder, 1980; Keniston, 1970; and Weigert, 1983). While t h i s moratorium i s a lso seen to p a r t i a l l y extend into the adolescent period, such young persons are t y p i c a l l y seen to occupy an important staging ground between middle childhood and maturity, and are expected to make serious moves i n the d i r e c t i o n of framing such enduring commitments (Marcia, 1966, 1976, 1980). It i s t h i s o b l i g a t i o n which i s generally seen to be responsible for the f a c t that adolescence i s often a period of turmoil (Erikson, 1968). If others d i d not hold out such expectations for them, and i f adolescents d i d not share i n these expectations, then, presumably, much that i s s t r e s s f u l about the adolescent period would cease to be operative. The paradox which confronts young adolescents i s that such demands for serious commitments escalate at p r e c i s e l y that developmental point at which they f i r s t acquire the cognitive competence to begin to c a l l 57 into serious question t h e i r r i g h t to be c e r t a i n about anything at a l l . . From the present perspective then, the f a m i l i a r i d e n t i t y c r i s i s of adolescence can be seen as the j o i n t consequence of mounting s o c i e t a l pressures on the one hand, and a growing sense of l o s t c e r t a i n t y on the other. Assuming for the moment that such s o c i e t a l pressure can be treated as a kind of s o c i o - h i s t o r i c a l constant, i t follows that the i n d i v i d u a l d i f f e r e n c e s commonly observed i n the ways which adolescents attempt to solve the problem of t h e i r own i d e n t i t y may be shown to vary as a function of how they respond to the more i n t e r n a l l y generated problem of mounting s k e p t i c a l doubt. While the e a r l i e r account of the l i k e l y responses of adolescents to such growing doubts was couched i n terms of th e i r a n t i c i p a t e d responses to the problem of c o n f l i c t i n g knowledge claims more generally, there are good reasons to assume that young persons w i l l a lso employ these same response strategies when attempting to cope with uncertainties about t h e i r own future l i f e course. On these grounds, i t can be a n t i c i p a t e d that when adolescents consider the mounting demands to formulate serious l i f e commitments they w i l l respond as they do more generally, by either sinking further i n t o s k e p t i c a l doubt, r e t r e a t i n g into the arms of dogmatism, or forging ahead with some r a t i o n a l strategy for choosing among the uncertain prospects at t h e i r d i s p o s a l . For the reasons just a r t i c u l a t e d , i t should follow that when adolescents are questioned about matters having to do with t h e i r i d e o l o g i c a l commitments, occupational goals, or r e l a t i o n a l choices, they should respond i n ways which are consistent with t h e i r o r i e n t a t i o n s toward unsettled questions more generally. On these grounds, i t i s 58 hypothesized that young, adolescents who have not abandoned t h e i r e a r l i e r r e a l i s t i c o r i e n t a t i o n i n favour of the c o n s t r u c t i v i s t i c assumptions associated with formal operational thought should continue to be insul a t e d against the prospects of i d e n t i t y c r i s i s . Such i n d i v i d u a l s should continue to presume that a l l questions concerning what they should be or beli e v e are matters of absolute f a c t which w i l l be unambiguously s e t t l e d as soon as a l l the relevant evidence i s i n . On sim i l a r conceptual grounds, i t may a l s o be ant i c i p a t e d that those adolescents who have i n f a c t reached a l e v e l of formal operational competence, but who have not as yet found any e f f e c t i v e means of coming to i n t e l l e c t u a l terms with those u n c e r t a i n t i e s that such cognitive developments sponsor, w i l l l i k e l y attempt to fin e s s such d i f f i c u l t i e s by segregating matters of taste or opinion from the domain of demonstrable f a c t and by assumimng that a l l such o b j e c t i v e matters can be or are already known with p r e c i s i o n i f only the proper expert can be located. The d i f f e r e n c e s that d i v i d e such d e f e n s i v e l y driven dogmatists and t h e i r more r e a l i s t i c concrete operational counterparts, l i e s p r i m a r i l y i n th e i r reason f o r dismissing the prospects of uncertainty. For the pe r s i s t e n t r e a l i s t eventual access to absolute c e r t a i n t y i s never se r i o u s l y doubted and the t r u t h i s automatically assumed to l i e around the next corner. The formal operational adolescent, by contrast, has had a l l such o p t i m i s t i c expectations s e r i o u s l y shaken and turns to the prospect of a u t h o r i t a t i v e l y given t r u t h as a kind of sa l v a t i o n from endemic uncertainty. By contrast, those formal operational adolescents who respond to uncertainty by r e t r e a t i n g s t i l l deeper i n t o untempered s k e p t i c a l doubt should generally refuse to commit themselves to any important l i f e 59 decisions on the grounds that such choices w i l l eventually prove to be unwarranted and ul t i m a t e l y a r b i t r a r y . If forced to make important choices, such s k e p t i c a l adolescents would have l i t t l e recourse except to resort to e s s e n t i a l l y non-rational d e c i s i o n making strategies based upon whim, or impulse, or chance. F i n a l l y , i t i s hypothesized that post-s k e p t i c a l r a t i o n a l i s t s , who generally appreciate that c e r t a i n t i e s are never absolute and that r e a l i t y i s an i n t e r p r e t i v e achievement, should also understand that the options which face them i n t h e i r own future need to be negotiated and renegotiated as good reasons for p r e f e r r i n g one course over another present themselves. Some adolescents of t h i s sort may f e e l that they do not as yet have s u f f i c i e n t l y good grounds to warrant making serious commitments about t h e i r own future while others are already persuaded that the relevant evidence i s already i n . By either account, however, such p o s t - s k e p t i c a l adolescents should be open to the p o s s i b l e existence of a better argument and consequently prepared to think d i f f e r e n t l y about t h e i r future on some l a t e r occasion. The reader f a m i l i a r with the a v a i l a b l e research l i t e r a t u r e on the process of i d e n t i t y formation w i l l recognize the various options ou t l i n e d above as being l a r g e l y overlapping with the i d e n t i t y status a l t e r n a t i v e s i n i t i a l l y proposed by Erikson (1968) and elaborated by Marcia (1966, 1976, 1980) and others (Archer, 1982; Grotevant, Thorbecke, and Meger, 1982; Munro and Adams, 1977; and Raphael and Xelowski, 1980). According to these authors, the status of an i n d i v i d u a l ' s e f f o r t s to form a mature sense of i d e n t i t y i s j o i n t l y dependent upon the presence or absence of a sense of c r i s i s regarding the need to make important l i f e choices and whether or not commitments to p a r t i c u l a r choices or a l t e r n a t i v e s have yet been made. By t h i s 60 account young people who have f a i l e d to s e r i o u s l y consider the matter of t h e i r own future and who consequently are not committed to any b e l i e f or a c t i o n are said to be i n a vague state of i d e n t i t y d i f f u s i o n . In contrast, young people who are committed to p a r t i c u l a r goals or b e l i e f s by v i r t u e of having adopted, without c r i s i s or evaluation, the values and goals of t h e i r parents or other s i g n i f i c a n t authority f i g u r e are taken to have foreclosed upon t h e i r i d e n t i t y choices. Being locked i n a state of needful i n d e c i s i o n or c r i s i s but having as yet f a i l e d to make or j u s t i f y any s p e c i f i c commitments relegates one to the moratorium status. Having passed through t h i s c r i s i s and made commitments i n one or more areas places one i n the status of i d e n t i t y achievement. A vigorous research l i t e r a t u r e has f i r m l y established t h i s i d e n t i t y status framework as a powerful explanatory t o o l i n charting much of what i s known to characterize the adolescent period. Studies have demonstrated the u t i l i t y and v a l i d i t y of the i d e n t i t y statuses by r e l a t i n g them to diverse accomplishments i n the areas of moral reasoning, s e l f esteem, p e r s o n a l i t y structure, and cognitive s t y l e and complexity (for reviews see Bourne 1978a, 1978b, and Marcia 1980). It i s not the purpose of t h i s study to substitute the proposed model of epistemic development for the i d e n t i t y status scheme just o u t l i n e d , or even to convergently v a l i d a t e the proposed typology of a l t e r n a t i v e epistemic stages against the i d e n t i t y status model. The divergent the o r e t i c o r i g i n s of the two approaches argues against these prospects. At the same time, however, i t i s assumed that our understanding of the problem of i d e n t i t y formation w i l l be enriched by exploring the i n t e r f a c e of these two explanatory systems and the series 61 of hypotheses and subsequent data analysis to follow i s meant to advance this purpose. At a general level, a series of global hypotheses may be advanced regarding what i s anticipated by way of overlap and underlap between these two models. This ordered series of hypotheses involves predicting, on cognitive developmental grounds, as to which Marcian identity status or statuses young people at each level of epistemic development are likely to be found. Beyond these general expectations regarding the cross-classification of these descriptive typologies, there have been a number of areas where the categoric assignment of young people to one or another identity status has failed to parsimoniously account for the observed range of adolescent adjustment reaction or identity formation histories. It was anticipated that knowledge of a given subject's characteristic responses to matters of uncertainty and doubt would aid in the c l a r i f i c a t i o n of these ambiguous matters, and these expectations are framed later in this section as a series of second order hypotheses. Before turning to these more detailed matters, however, what is l i s t e d out f i r s t i s a series of more general hypotheses outlining the anticipated areas of overlap between these two general descriptive frameworks. As was suggested earlier i n this section, the manner in which adolescent realists, dogmatists, skeptics, and rationalists approach uncertain issues in general ought to proscribe the manner in which they approach such concerns when they arise as components of any of the choices necessitated by the process of forming a coherent identity. A l l concrete operational adolescents, because of their persistently r e a l i s t i c convictions that a simple, right answer is to be had to a l l 62 questions, should be i n s u l a t e d from the prospect that t h e i r own i d e n t i t y i s i n any serious doubt, and should be led to one or the other of two pos s i b l e outcomes when they are queried about t h e i r own futures. If such p e r s i s t e n t l y r e a l i s t i c i n d i v i d u a l s b e l i e v e that they have already come int o possession of the r i g h t answer to important questions about t h e i r own future then i t i s hypothesized that they w i l l be scored as "foreclosed" on a standard measure of i d e n t i t y formation. I f , by contrast, such i n d i v i d u a l s remain uncertain about t h e i r own future prospects but believe that a l l such ambiguous matters w i l l sort themselves out i n good time, they w i l l most l i k e l y be characterized as " i d e n t i t y d i f f u s e d . " Which of these a l t e r n a t i v e i d e n t i t y status designations proves to be the most appropriate w i l l depend upon matters unrelated to general epistemological issues and consequently both d i f f u s i o n and foreclosure i d e n t i t y statuses are expected to be equally l i k e l y among i n d i v i d u a l s characterized as epistemic r e a l i s t s . For subjects who recognize the subjective character of a l l knowledge and who respond to c o n f l i c t i n g knowledge claims by taking refuge i n dogmatic commitments to the pronouncements of external a u t h o r i t i e s , uncertainties i n matters of i d e n t i t y ought to automatically engender s i m i l a r sorts of so l u t i o n s t r a t e g i e s . Consequently, those young people who are scored as dogmatic within the proposed typology of competing epistemological types ought to be found e x c l u s i v e l y within the foreclosed i d e n t i t y status. Unlike r e a l i s t i c foreclosures, however, who believe that the ultimate correctness of t h e i r choices i s equally evident to a l l , dogmatic foreclosures may be expected to be les s c e r t a i n , b e l i e v i n g that, while ordinary persons lack acceptable grounds for c e r t a i n t y , those whose values and goals they have foreclosed upon 63 somehow know better than they or have priviledged access to the sorts of certain solutions unavailable to the ordinary person. On the opposite side of this r e l a t i v i s t i c coin are those adolescent skeptics who see no hope of rationally choosing among alternatives or of finding someone who can. Consequently, those adolescents who have entirely bought into this skeptical view and who believe that there are only arbitrary grounds for making choices are certainly caught in the needful state of indecision characteristic of the moratorium status. Despite the obviousness of this connection, i t is also possible that such young skeptics may, when faced with their lack of rational grounds for making decisions, cease to attempt to make any. It i s therefore hypothesized that those adolescents scored as skeptics may either be scored either as "identity diffused" or in the "moratorium" status. Finally, epistemic rationalists, who have developed other than r e a l i s t i c or dogmatic epistemic grounds for settling ambiguous matters and for warranting their beliefs ought to be in a position to apply those insights to questions of identity and so are hypothesized to qualify as having an achieved identity status. In dichotomous terms, this ordered series of hypotheses reduce to the prediction that epistemic realists and dogmatists w i l l be found in the identity diffused and foreclosed statuses while the majority of the epistemic skeptics and rationalists w i l l be found in the moratorium and achieved statuses. The. only exception to this predictive bifurcation i s that a subset of those adolescents who qualify as epistemic skeptics, because they despair of any rational grounds for making important l i f e decisions, can be expected to be scored in the identity diffused category. 64 I f , as i s anticipated, support i s found for the preceding hypotheses, more w i l l have been accomplished than a simple demonstration of the f a c t that a l t e r n a t i v e t e s t i n g procedures can lead to s i m i l a r conclusions about adolescent i d e n t i t y status. Among the several a n t i c i p a t e d advantages are the following. F i r s t , Marcia's procedures for assigning subjects to i d e n t i t y formation statuses are only t a n g e n t i a l l y r e l a t e d to what i s otherwise known about the course of adolescent cognitive development. The studies of Berzonsky, Weiner, and Raphael (1975), Cauble (1976), Wagner (1976), Rowe and Marcia (1980), and Leadbeater and Dionne (1981), for example, a l l show only the most problematic r e l a t i o n to measures of formal operational reasoning. Second, there i s nothing about Marcia's typology that makes i t at a l l s e l f - e v i d e n t as to why various i d e n t i t y problems a r i s e when they do. By contrast, measures of epistemic doubt, rooted as they are i n an e x p l i c i t account of the place of such u n c e r t a i n t i e s i n the usual cognitive course, o f f e r better reasons as to why i d e n t i t y problems a r i s e when they do. Third, there are c e r t a i n scoring.confusions and empirical anomalies generated by the Marcia procedure which would be resolved by the a l t e r n a t i v e measurement approach. Among these are included the f a c t s that Marcia's procedure o f f e r s no way of accounting for the observation: (1) that subjects scored as i d e n t i t y achieved often f a l l back i n t o periods of c r i s i s and uncertainty (Marcia 1976; Broughton, 1983); (2) that subjects can be p e s s i m i s t i c about the prospects for absolute c e r t a i n t y , yet be scored as foreclosed (Slugoski, 1984); and (3) that subjects are often scored as d i f f u s e d f or the contrasting reasons that they e i t h e r have not s e r i o u s l y considered t h e i r own futures, or that 65 they have puzzled over such matters but see no way of r e s o l v i n g the several p o s s i b l e a l t e r n a t i v e s of which they are aware (Adams, Shea, and F i t c h , 1979; Broughton, 1983; Donovan, 1975; Waterman and Waterman, 1971). The proposed strategy of scoring subjects i n terms of the primary dimensions of c e r t a i n t y and doubt would provide means of r e s o l v i n g these conceptual, procedural, and empirical confusions. General Summary of Hypotheses and Empirical Issues As o u t l i n e d i n the preceding sections, t h i s study introduces the achievement of generic doubt as a c r i t i c a l milestone i n the course of adolescent development and attempts to substantiate i t s importance by showing i t s relevance to: (1) the achievement of formal operational competency, on the one hand; and (2) to the process of i d e n t i t y formation on the other. I t was hypothesized i n chapter 2 that the onset of formal operations would coincide with movement beyond a r e a l i s t i c epistemic l e v e l . A l i s t i n g of the hypothesised r e l a t i o n s between epistemic development and the i d e n t i t y formation process and the steps necessary i n evaluating them outlined i n t h i s chapter include the following: A strong r e l a t i o n s h i p should e x i s t between the manner i n which given subjects respond to the general uncertainties prompted by c o n f l i c t i n g knowledge claims and the way i n which they deal with the ambiguities of t h e i r own uncertain f u t u r e s . Consequently, subjects previously categorized as r e a l i s t s , dogmatists, skeptics, and r a t i o n a l i s t s should respond to procedures aimed at s p e c i f y i n g t h e i r current " i d e n t i t y status" as follows: 66 a. Subjects who are scored as epistemic r e a l i s t s and who assume, as a consequence, that what they should do or believe i s now or w i l l s h o r t l y become apparent, w i l l be scored as e i t h e r i d e n t i t y foreclosed or as i d e n t i t y d i f f u s e d . b. A l l subjects who respond to epistemic uncertainties with dogmatic commitments should be scored as i d e n t i t y foreclosed. c. Subjects scored as epistemic skeptics, and who see no hope of r a t i o n a l l y choosing among various a l t e r n a t i v e l i f e courses, are forced to make such choices s o l e l y on a r b i t r a r y grounds, and should score either as i d e n t i t y d i f f u s e d or i n the moritorium status. d. Subjects scored as p o s t - s k e p t i c a l r a t i o n a l i s t s , depending on whether they f e e l they have as yet uncovered good reasons for making such choices, should be coded as evidencing either a moratorium or an i d e n t i t y achieved status. The procedures by which each of these hypotheses and empirical issues were put to empirical test are d e t a i l e d i n the method section ^ which fol l o w s . 67 CHAPTER 5: METHOD Subject Screening and S e l e c t i o n In order to generate data relevant to the hypotheses o u t l i n e d above a sample of subjects was required that could be c l e a r l y c r o s s - c l a s s i f i e d as e i t h e r concrete or formal operational, and as occupying one of Marcia's four i d e n t i t y statuses. Between middle childhood and adolescence the course of cognitive development, according to Piaget's theory, i s i d e a l l y understood to pass d i r e c t l y and d i s c r e t e l y from the period of concrete to formal operations. The assessment procedures meant to index t h i s d i s c r e t e t r a n s i t i o n are subject, however, to various forms of measurement error and, consequently, i t i s not always p o s s i b l e to unambiguously assign subjects to one or the other of these d i s c r e t e stages. Because c e r t a i n of the hypotheses to be tested i n t h i s study concern a n t i c i p a t e d d i f f e r e n c e s between concrete operational and formal operational i n d i v i d u a l s , i t therefore was necessary to f i r s t screen a larger group of young persons i n order to i d e n t i f y subjects who represent r e l a t i v e l y pure instances of these two cognitive types. To t h i s end an i n i t i a l t o t a l of 110 high-school student volunteers who returned parental consent forms, were screened using the battery of cognitive developmental procedures described below i n section 5.7. Of that i n i t i a l sample, 70 students could be unambiguously c l a s s i f i e d as either concrete or formal operational on the basis of the c r i t e r i a d e t a i l e d i n section 5.4 and were subsequently administered the remaining measures. The remaining 40 subjects were dropped from the study. Of the 70 students who s a t i s f i e d the cognitive i n c l u s i o n c r i t e r i a , 9 were eventually dropped from the analyses. Three of these had incomplete data and six were not unambiguously assignable to a single i d e n t i t y status 68 using the modified version of Adams' (Adams, Shea, and F i t c h , 1979) c l a s s i f i c a t i o n c r i t e r i a described below (see section 5.6). Consequently, the findings to be reported i n the r e s u l t s section are based on the 61 subjects for whom complete data were a v a i l a b l e . These 61 subjects varied by grade and sex as follows; 27 grade 8 students, 16 of whom were female; 15 grade 10 students, 7 of whom were female; and 19 grade 11 and 12 students, 14 of whom were female. The disproportionate number of females i n the present sample r e f l e c t s both a d i f f e r e n t i a l rate of return of parental consent forms and a s l i g h t overepresentation of females i n the classes i n which volunteers were s o l i c i t e d . The analyses to be reported upon below were i n i t i a l l y run separately for each sex and the male and female r e s u l t s were only pooled i f the gender d i f f e r e n c e analyses were n o n - s i g n i f i c a n t . Materials The three measures of formal operational thought employed i n the screening phase of t h i s study included a p r o b a b i l i t y task ( A r l i n , 1978), a combinatorial reasoning.task ( S i l l s and Herron, 1976), and an i s o l a t i o n of var i a b l e s task (Kuhn and Ho, 1977). A d e s c r i p t i o n of these various tasks and the reasons for t h e i r s e l e c t i o n w i l l be outl i n e d i n the following measures section. The measure of i d e n t i t y status used was the extended form of the Objective Measure of Ego-Identity Status (Adams, Shea, and F i t c h , 1979). The OM-EIS i s comprised of questions written so as to r e f l e c t i d e n t i t y concerns as they are expressed within each of Marcia's four i d e n t i t y statuses and cover a range of content i n both interpersonal and 69 i d e o l o g i c a l domains. This measure and the reasons for i t s adoption are also d e t a i l e d i n the measures sub-section below. The measure of s k e p t i c a l doubt employed i n t h i s study was the Nascent Skep t i c a l Doubt Interview developed by Chandler, Boyes, B a l l , and Hala (1985). This procedure involved presenting subjects with story problems i n which two groups of people were described as espousing competing knowledge claims about a s i n g l e i s s u e . In each case a d e c i s i o n about the issue under debate was required. The presentation of each story was followed by a series of questions which focused upon how the subject constructed the problem and envisioned r e s o l v i n g the story issues. Responses to these questions were coded as r e f l e c t i n g either a r e a l i s t i c , dogmatic, s k e p t i c a l , or r a t i o n a l epistemic stance. 70 Measures of Formal Operations Whatever lack of conceptual c l a r i t y i n i t i a l l y characterized Piaget's o r i g i n a l account of formal operational thought has been further compounded by p e r s i s t e n t confusions over how such a b i l i t i e s are best measured. The o r i g i n a l roster of measurement procedures proposed by Piaget (Inhelder and Piaget, 1958) and subsequently employed by other i n v e s t i g a t o r s i s conceptually diverse (Keating, 1980), often procedurally ambiguous (Broughton, 1984), and frequently f a i l s to demonstrate the empirical coherence that theory would lead one to expect ( B l a s i and Hoeffal, 1974). S i m i l a r l y , various i n v e s t i g a t o r s have suggested that the achievement of formal operational competence i s context dependent and may only develop i n those content areas i n which young people have had some s p e c i a l i z e d i n t e r e s t or t r a i n i n g . For a l l of these reasons there are no broadly agreed upon methods of unambiguously assessing formal operational competency and the best that one can hope for under these circumstanses i s to t r i a n g u l a t e upon such a b i l i t i e s through a network of approximate measurement s t r a t e g i e s . Given the measurement error associated with any s i n g l e procedure, the choice of multiple measures also reduces the p o s s i b i l i t y of categorization errors by permitting the use of more stringent c l a s s i f i c a t i o n c r i t e r i a . Beyond t h i s , the use of such converging methods i s recommended by the s t r u c t u r a l nature of Piaget's theory of operational competence, which sees the e s s e n t i a l features of formal operational thought r e f l e c t e d i n a range of a b i l i t i e s not q u i n t e s s e n t i a l l y captured by any single task. Given the d e c i s i o n to use multiple measures of formal operations, other more pragmatic considerations entered i n t o the choice of the three 71 procedures d e t a i l e d below. Certain a v a i l a b l e formal operational measures involve the use of hardware and procedures not appropriate f o r the large scale screening e f f o r t required by the design of t h i s study. In addi t i o n , c e r t a i n of the measures reported i n the l i t e r a t u r e have less well documented h i s t o r i e s of use, or are f r a n k l y dangerous (e.g., the chemicals problem uses acids and bases), or sex biased (Labouvie-Vief, 1980), or otherwise inappropriate to sustain the i n t e r e s t of the older of the subjects to be tested i n t h i s study. A l l of these considerations together r e s u l t e d i n the d e c i s i o n to adopt the three measures of p r o b a b a l i s t i c and combinatorial reasoning and the a b i l i t y to i s o l a t e v a r i a b l e s described below. P r o b a b i l i t y task. The p r o b a b i l i t y task used i n t h i s study was adapted from procedures introduced by A r l i n (1978) and involves two separate subtasks. The f i r s t i s intended to tap the presence of the concrete operational a b i l i t y to simultaneously d i s t i n g u i s h parts and wholes. As i n Piaget's c l a s s i c whole/part problem ( F l a v e l l , 1963), subjects are presented i n t h i s procedure with a number of wooden beads of three colours and are asked to consider whether there are more beads of a p a r t i c u l a r colour (subordinate catagory) than there are beads altogether (superordinate catagory). Subjects who pass t h i s task by maintaining the l e v e l s d i s t i n c t i o n between superordinate and subordinate catagories are categorized as possessing concrete operational competence. The second part of t h i s task i s intended to tap the formal operational a b i l i t y to u t i l i z e r e l a t i v e r a t i o s i n order to estimate the p r o b a b i l i t y of drawing a bead of a p a r t i c u l a r colour i n a b l i n d 72 s e l e c t i o n t r i a l , This i s accomplished by p l a c i n g six beads of each of three colours i n an opaque container and asking the subjects to f i r s t estimate the p r o b a b i l i t y of s e l e c t i n g a bead of a s p e c i f i c colour on the f i r s t t r y . A f t e r they have selected a bead, subjects are next asked to estimate the p r o b a b i l i t y of s e l e c t i n g another bead of the same colour. Correct p r o b a b i l i t y estimates on both t r i a l s are required to pass t h i s formal operational section of t h i s task (see protocol i n Appendix B). Combinatorial reasoning task. The combinatorial reasoning task adopted i s an e l e c t r o n i c analogue to Piaget's c l a s s i c chemicals problem (Inhelder and Piaget, 1958) o r i g i n a l l y developed by S i l l s and Herron (1976; see a l s o A r l i n , 1978). In t h i s procedure subjects are presented with a box on which are mounted f i v e switches and a l i g h t . They are asked to determine which combination (or combinations) of switches i s required to make the l i g h t go on. A l l attempts are recorded and l a t e r scored as to whether the pattern of t r i a l s shows a systematic approach to the problem; that i s , whether a l l p o s s i b l e combinations of one, two, three, four, and a l l f i v e switches are attempted i n some systematic order. The a b i l i t y to l o g i c a l l y generate a coherent series of combinations, when demonstrated, i s taken to be i n d i c a t i v e of formal operational competence (see Appendix B). I s o l a t i o n of v a r i a b l e s . The i s o l a t i o n of va r i a b l e s task (Kuhn and Ho, 1977) taps the formal operational a b i l i t y to generate and tes t s p e c i f i c hypotheses by systematically holding several v a r i a b l e s constant. This i s accomplished i n an experimental context which involves presenting subjects with p i c t u r e s of two sets of eight plants which 73 depict the r e s u l t s of a growth experiment i n v o l v i n g three types of plant food. A f t e r hearing an explanation of the experiment, subjects are asked to answer, on the basis of the evidence presented to them, a series of questions regarding the main and/or i n t e r a c t i v e e f f e c t s of the plant foods. In order to be scored as evidencing formal operational competence subjects must mount reasonably defensible arguments for which plant foods are and are not e f f e c t i v e and whether t h i s e f fectiveness varies with the type of plant involved (see Appendix B). The hypotheses advanced i n section 2.3 of chapter 2 r e f e r to a n t i c i p a t e d differences i n the responses of concrete and formal operational young people (as defined above) to questions regarding matters of c e r t a i n t y and i d e n t i t y . In order to ensure a d e c i s i v e t e s t of these p r e d i c t i o n s i t was necessary to be reasonably c e r t a i n that the young persons included i n the empirical p o r t i o n of the study were either concrete or formal operational and not e i t h e r pre-operational or i n some t r a n s i t i o n a l state between concrete and formal operational competencies. Accordingly, r e l a t i v e l y stringent c r i t e r i a were set for determining subjects' operational l e v e l (see Appendix B for a d d i t i o n a l d e t a i l s ) . Subjects who met these c r i t e r i a for formal operational performance on at least two of these three tasks were c l a s s i f i e d as formal operational. Those subjects who were scored as f a l l i n g short of t h i s c r i t e r i o n and who also scored above the concrete operational c r i t e r i a on more than one task were coded as being i n t r a n s i t i o n between these two operative l e v e l s and were consequently dropped from further consideration. Subjects who f a i l e d to reach the formal operational c r i t e r i a on any of the tasks and who scored at the concrete operational l e v e l on at l e a s t two of the tasks were scored as possessing concrete operational 74 competence. Given the age of the present sample (the youngest subjects were 13 years of age and i n grade 8) i t was very u n l i k e l y that any pre-operational subjects would be found. S t i l l , simply knowing that a subject i s not formal operational or i n t r a n s i t i o n to formal operations does not formally guarantee that they are concrete o p e r a t i o n a l . To guard against t h i s remote p o s s i b i l i t y such subjects who, i n the experimenter's estimation, had not performed well on any of the formal operational measures were a l s o evaluated with part 1 of the A r l i n p r o b a b i l i t y procedure i n order to demonstrate that no pre-operational i n d i v i d u a l s were included. This was only done with 10 of the subjects i n the i n i t i a l sample, a l l of whom passed t h i s part of the A r l i n procedure. The scoring of each of these t e s t s of formal operations required some degree of judgement and necessitated a t e s t of the r e l i a b i l i t y of these coding operations. To t h i s end, the responses of 20 randomly selected subjects were scored independently by two r a t e r s experienced with the coding system. Inter-rater agreement was 90% f o r both the i s o l a t i o n of v a r i a b l e s and the combinatorial reasoning tasks and 100% for the p r o b a b i l i t y task. 75 Measures of Epistemic C e r t a i n t y The preceding problem of a r r i v i n g at s a t i s f a c t o r y ways of indexing formal operational competence centered upon the making of informed choices from among an array of competing measurement procedures already a v a i l a b l e i n the research l i t e r a t u r e . Quite the reverse i s true with respect to p o t e n t i a l measures of uncertainty and doubt. The l a s t decade of entries i n the Psychological Abstracts, for example, does not even index these terms. This apparent s h o r t f a l l i s p a r t i a l l y semantic, however, and there have been numerous other i n v e s t i g a t o r s (e.g., Broughton, 1978, 1981; Chandler, 1975; E l k i n d , 1967; Kitchener and King, 1981; Kuhn, Pennington, and Leadbeater, 1983; and Perry, 1970) who have shared the present concern over the l i k e l y consequences of a r r i v i n g at a point i n i n t e l l e c t u a l development at which o l d confidences are l o s t and systematic concern over the p o s s i b i l i t y of c e r t a i n knowledge begins to appear. Nevertheless, for reasons already alluded to, the bulk of these p o t e n t i a l l y relevant studies have focussed attention upon those sorts of s k e p t i c a l concerns that t y p i c a l l y do not appear before the period of young adulthood. College students, as Perry (1970), Kitchener and King (1981), and others (Clinchy, L i e f , and Young, 1977; K u r f i s s , 1977; Schmidt and Davison, 1978; and Stephenson and Hunt, 1977) have shown, do come to have serious doubts about the range of competing knowledge claims to which they are exposed i n the course of pursuing t h e i r higher education. Because of the arcane or t e c h n i c a l nature of the stimulus problems employed i n these e a r l i e r studies, however, t h i s f a c t has only minimal relevance for the current question of when, i n the course of t h e i r ontogenetic development, adolescents f i r s t come to e n t e r t a i n serious 76 questions about the a u t h e n t i c i t y of the various competing b e l i e f s to which they are exposed. While Broughton's (1978) work and that of Mansfield and Clinchy (1985) lend credence to the notion that serious epistemic doubts regarding the p o s s i b i l i t y of absolute knowledge do i n f a c t put i n a f i r s t appearance sometime i n ea r l y adolescence, the majority of inve s t i g a t o r s working i n t h i s f i e l d have tended to focus a t t e n t i o n upon college samples and generally have made use of quasi-p h i l o s o p h i c a l and open-ended interviews that make heavy demands upon the a b i l i t y of young persons to f r e e l y speculate about such u n c e r t a i n t i e s . Consequently, such assessment procedures may have s e r i o u s l y underestimated the a b i l i t y of much younger formal operational subjects to take issue with a b s o l u t i s t i c claims f o r c e r t a i n knowledge. The upshot of a l l of t h i s i s that there are no p r e - e x i s t i n g procedures which can be brought into play to determine when, i n the course of t h e i r development, young persons f i r s t e n t ertain serious doubts regarding the ultimate knowability of c e r t a i n s o - c a l l e d matters of f a c t . The conceptual analysis of t h i s problem, ou t l i n e d i n chapter 2, provided a series of t h e o r e t i c a l arguments for a n t i c i p a t i n g that nascent s k e p t i c a l doubts are a natural expression of formal operational thought and should put i n t h e i r f i r s t appearance at the same point i n cognitive development. As already suggested, t h i s co-occurrence i s not understood to be the consequence of any cause and e f f e c t sequence, nor i s i t thought to come about because formal operations i s i n any sense a necessary or even s u f f i c i e n t condition f o r the emergence of s k e p t i c a l doubt. Rather, as was argued i n the introduction, both formal operational competencies and emergent s k e p t i c a l doubts are j o i n t l y understood to be a l t e r n a t i v e expressions of the same underlying 77 structural changes — changes which, on the one hand, make accessible a more mature conception of physical science matters, and, on the other, are responsible for those epistemic developments that spell the end of earlier r e a l i s t i c notions of knowledge acquisition. If, as is proposed here, formal operational competency and nascent skeptical doubts are both expressions of an underlying set of structural changes common to the course of adolescent development, then the emergence of formal operations could be seen to constitute sufficient evidence for the co-occurrence of skeptical doubts. This, in fact, would be the case i f the structural equivalence claimed for formal operations and such collateral doubts was currently more than a mere theoretical assertion. As i s detailed i n the hypothesis section of chapter 2, however, the establishment of this equivalence relation was the empirical objective of the f i r s t stage of this research enterprise. In advance of this demonstration, however, and for reasons necessary to the second phase of this research program, what is presently required i s some independent index of the extent to which adolescents are or are not characterized by such generic doubt. As outlined above, procedures for accomplishing this measurement task do not currently exist and need to be newly minted for this present purpose. The measurement strategies introduced in the earlier research of Perry (1970), Kitchener and King (e.g., Kitchener and King, 1981; and King, Kitchener, Davison, Parker, and Wood, 1983), and Kuhn, Pennington, and Leadbeater (1983), while seen to be unsatisfactory for present purpose because of their reliance upon matters remote from the lives of most adolescents, do, nonetheless, employ an assessment format that lent i t s e l f for adaptation to the purposes of this study. In a way which 78 p a r a l l e l s the c l a s s i c a l work of Kohlberg (Kohlberg, Levine, and Hewer, 1983) and the more recent e f f o r t s of Walker, de V r i e s , and Trevethan ( i n press), G i l l i g a n (1982) and others (Langdale, 1983; and Lyons, 1983), a l l of which concerns subjects' attempts to resolve matters of competing human i n t e r e s t , the procedure introduced by Kitchener and King (1981) i s meant to capture the attempts of t h e i r subjects to resolve matter of competing knowledge claims. In general terms these authors presented t h e i r subjects with various story problems i n which experts were said to disagree, and used the commentaries which subjects made about these problems as a source of evidence concerning t h e i r willingness to cast doubt upon the necessary s u p e r i o r i t y of one of these competing views over the other. Given the present purposes, the s h o r t - f a l l of these e a r l i e r procedures i s that before the period of l a t e adolescence few young people have the informational background necessary to enter i n t o such debates. In sharp contrast, the work of T u r i e l and h i s colleagues (Nucci, 1981; Smetana, 1985; T u r i e l , 1983; and T u r i e l and Smetana, 1984), strongly suggests that, when questioned about more f a m i l i a r matters, adolescents are often quick to characterize competing knowledge claims as debatable matters of simple s o c i a l convention. While t h i s e a r l i e r work does not s e l f - c o n s c i o u s l y undertake to address the question of when young persons f i r s t become capable of entertaining serious s k e p t i c a l doubts, i t does r a i s e important questions regarding the conclusion, based e n t i r e l y upon populations of u n i v e r s i t y students, that the onset of such s k e p t i c a l considerations f i r s t occurs during the period of young adulthood. The procedure adopted i n the present study was intended as a hybrid version of the methods of Kitchener and King (see also Kuhn, Pennington, and Leadbeater, 1983) on the one hand and T u r i e l on the other, and undertakes to present instances of c o n f l i c t i n g knowledge claims regarding more commonplace matters of s o c i a l convention. The r e s u l t of t h i s procedural borrowing i s a set of epistemological dilemmas which, l i k e the procedure introduced by Kitchener and King, present instances of contrasting knowledge claims, and, l i k e the studies of T u r i e l and h i s colleagues, set such problems i n more f a m i l i a r contexts. The purpose behind the c r e a t i o n of such dilemmas i s to o f f e r subjects a competition between knowledge claims and to do so i n ways which allow them to bring to bear personal knowledge about what do and do not count as reasonable a l t e r n a t i v e s i n more f a m i l i a r matters of personal judgement. While the s p e c i f i c d e t a i l s of such epistemological dilemmas were free to vary, several c o n s t r a i n t s l i m i t the kinds of knowledge claims which are relevant for t e s t i n g the a b i l i t i e s of young adolescents to entertain p o s s i b i l i t i e s of serious doubt. F i r s t , i t seemed necessary to choose instances of contrasting b e l i e f s which deal with s u f f i c i e n t l y f a m i l i a r concerns so that even the youngest subjects would regard them as relevant matters. Second, i t seemed ob l i g a t o r y that the p a r t i c u l a r b e l i e f s that were set i n opposition to one another be s u f f i c i e n t l y c r e d i b l e as to represent what William James (1956) re f e r r e d to as l i v e rather than dead a l t e r n a t i v e s . F i n a l l y , i t was reasoned that the matter under debate should concern issues s u f f i c i e n t l y marked by the d i c t a t e s of s o c i a l convention that expert opinion could not be seen to automatically lay such matters to r e s t , and that reasonable persons could f i n d room i n them for serious debate. Without these minimal 80 constraints i t was feared that adolescents, otherwise capable of serious sk e p t i c a l doubt, would f a i l to evidence such doubts by d i s q u a l i f y i n g themselves, l o s i n g i n t e r e s t , or too q u i c k l y demurring i n the face of remote, expert opinion. The Epistemic Doubt Interview The Epistemic Doubt interview was constructed i n order to provide subjects with a series of c o n t r o l l e d opportunities to make e x p l i c i t the nature of t h e i r epistemic assumptions regarding the nature and a t t a i n a b i l i t y of knowledge and t r u t h . Based on the expectation that subjects' assumptions regarding the nature of knowledge would be thrown int o boldest r e l i e f when they were considering instances of contradictory or competing knowledge claims, the two story problems featured i n the interview were written so as to portray d i f f e r e n t groups of i n d i v i d u a l s as advancing divergent knowledge claims about the same issue or event. In one story a student group and a parent group are described as arguing opposite sides of the question of whether a d r i v e r t r a i n i n g program should be offered i n t h e i r high school. In the other story, authors of two books on the p o s i t i o n of Native Indians within mainstream North American society are portrayed as disagreeing over the optimal course for future native/non-native r e l a t i o n s . The issue of native/non-native r e l a t i o n s i s a t o p i c a l one and was made more s a l i e n t by the fa c t that both schools i n which data c o l l e c t i o n ocurred had recently introduced a c t i v i t i e s and c u r r i c u l a intended to increase students awareness of native c u l t u r e and concerns (see Appendix C for the complete text of each s t o r y ) . 81 A seri e s of standard probes followed each story which were intended as a means of making as e x p l i c i t as p o s s i b l e how i t i s that the subject both constructed and undertook to resolve the competing knowledge claims set out i n each story problem. In each case the probes were intended to encourage subjects to press the l i m i t s of t h e i r understanding of the problem posed and to elaborate t h e i r b e l i e f s regarding the merits of possi b l e r e s o l u t i o n s t r a t e g i e s . In the problem construction section of the interview, subjects were f i r s t asked to what extent the disagreement portrayed i n the story was due to a lack of appropriate access to the fac t s on the part of one or the other group of protagonists. To the extent that the response to t h i s probe l a i d f u l l r e s p o n s i b i l i t y for such disagreements upon matters of d i f f e r e n t i a l informational access, the remainder of the probes i n t h i s section simply served to confirm the extent to which the subject's b e l i e f that d i f f e r e n t i a l access to the fac t s was the single cause of disagreement. I f , instead, r e s p o n s i b i l i t y for the contrasting claims made by the story characters was not l a i d e n t i r e l y at the door of access to d i f f e r e n t f a c t s , and to the extent that the subject was not spontaneously forthcoming with what else might be involved, a l l subsequent probes were intended to encourage them to expand upon pos s i b l e reasons for continued disagreement. These probes amounted to requests for the subject to be more e x p l i c i t about the nature of those other f a c t o r s which he or she believed might also be responsible f o r such disagreements and the manner i n which the facts r e l a t e to the knowing process. Once subjects had made clear what they took to be the basis for the competing knowledge claims, the second section of the interview accepted that construction of the problem and went on to ask subjects what they 82 saw as a v i a b l e means of dealing with the problem as defined. In order to f a c i l i t a t e t h i s , the f i r s t probe i n t h i s section asked whether some t h i r d party s p e c i a l i s t or expert could be of any p o t e n t i a l assistance i n r e s o l v i n g the problem. The optional follow-up probes to t h i s general question were intended to allow subjects to elaborate upon the r o l e which experts or other t h i r d p a r t i e s might play. Whenever such experts were understood to be of l i m i t e d use, the remaining probes enquired whether there were some other means by which one might decide which of two competing claims might have the greater merit and should be used as a guide for subsequent a c t i o n . A f i n a l set of general probes, which followed the second story, was intended to provide a d d i t i o n a l opportunities for subjects to both reframe the problems presented and to describe what they believed to be generally v i a b l e s o l u t i o n s t r a t e g i e s i n s i t u a t i o n s of t h i s s o r t . By pressing for g e n e r a l i t i e s common to both s t o r i e s t h i s l a s t set of probes was intended to encourage general statements regarding the relevance of competing knowledge claims for the whole epistemic e n t e r p r i s e . Scoring the Epistemic Interview Based upon the e a r l i e r e f f o r t s of King and Kitchener (1981), Kuhn, Pennington, and Leadbeater (1983) and the r e s u l t s of p i l o t work using e a r l i e r forms of the Epistemic Doubt Interview described above (see also Appendix C), operational d e f i n i t i o n s of the four epistemic stages ou t l i n e d i n chapter 3 were developed and used to score subjects' responses to the Epistemic Doubt Interview. These working d e f i n i t i o n s for r e a l i s t i c , dogmatic, s k e p t i c a l , and r a t i o n a l i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s of these story problems are l i s t e d below. 83 Level 0: Realism. At t h i s l e v e l the world i s taken to be constituted independently of anyone's attempts to perceive or know i t . As a r e s u l t of t h i s assumption, c o n f l i c t regarding the meaning of events can be resolved by simply taking a c l o s e r look at the p a r t i c u l a r f a c t s of the matter. A l l doubts about the form or nature of such knowledge are c a s e - s p e c i f i c and are understood to have no generalizable bearing upon other epistemic issues. Scored at t h i s l e v e l are a l l constructions of the story problems which assign exclusive r e s p o n s i b i l i t y f o r a l l disagreements to d i f f e r e n t i a l access to the f a c t s . For example, parents who favor the removal of d r i v e r t r a i n i n g from the high-school curriculum could be viewed from t h i s perspective as having acquired d i f f e r e n t information than that used by the student committee. Because of t h i s , c o n f l i c t s are understood by l e v e l 0 r e a l i s t s to be resolvable through a more complete reading of the f a c t s . Level 1; Dogmatism. The contents of the thoughts of subjects scored at t h i s l e v e l are of two sorts — f i r s t order representations of an external r e a l i t y and second order r e f l e c t i o n s about such f i r s t order representations. This amounts to the drawing of a category d i s t i n c t i o n between f a c t s and opinions. In t h i s view, a l l f a c t s continue to be seen as the automatic byproduct of d i r e c t exposure to the f a c t s . Opinions, by contrast, are understood to simply r e f l e c t i d i o s y n c r a t i c comments upon that r e a l i t y and i n t h i s sense are not d i r e c t l y implicated i n the knowing process. At the same time, however, such opinions are believed to have the p o t e n t i a l to predispose people to be s t r a t e g i c i n t h e i r s e l e c t i o n or reporting of the f a c t s . A l t e r n a t i v e constructions of a given problem are consequently understood by subjects at t h i s l e v e l to r e f l e c t the fa c t that the p a r t i e s to such disagreements not only have 84 access to d i f f e r e n t f a c t s but that they have eit h e r selected or recounted these f a c t s i n opinionated and i n t e r e s t driven ways. Up to t h i s point there i s l i t t l e i n t h i s d e s c r i p t i o n of dogmatic responses that would enable them to be e a s i l y d i s t i n g i u i s h e d from e a r l i e r r e a l i s t i c responses. Indeed, young persons of a l l ages make some use of the terms " f a c t " and "opinion". Instead, the d i s t i n c t i o n hinges on the novel r e l a t i o n that i s presumed to hold between the domains of f a c t and opinion. For the R e a l i s t f a c t s always precede and may be e a s i l y d i s t i n g u i s h e d from opinions which are treated as the equivalent of guesses. Opinions, i n short, enter the epistemic p i c t u r e for r e a l i s t s only a f t e r the f a c t s have done t h e i r work. For the Dogmatist, however, t h i s r e l a t i o n i s reversed with opinions s l i p p i n g i n ahead of and obscuring d i r e c t access to the f a c t s . For the R e a l i s t , c o n f l i c t r e s o l u t i o n requires nothing more than access to a d d i t i o n a l f a c t s . By contrast, for the Dogmatist, r e s o l u t i o n of what are recognized to be motivated d i f f e r e n c e s of opinion must be sought through appeals to some d i s i n t e r e s t e d t h i r d party whose knowledge of the f a c t s i s not clouded by subjective b i a s . By r e l y i n g upon such expert knowledge, o b j e c t i v i t y can be restored even i f f i r s t hand access to the t r u t h i s l o s t . Level 2 ; Skepticism. At t h i s l e v e l the absolute d i s t i n c t i o n between f a c t s and opinions c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of i n d i v i d u a l s c l a s s i f i e d i n the previous scoring catagory collapses and opinions are no longer understood to c o n s t i t u t e a category of mental contents d i f f e r e n t from f a c t u a l knowledge. Instead, a l l knowledge comes to be understood to be f i l t e r e d through a set of lenses or v e i l s which give a subjective character to a l l experience. In l i g h t of t h i s c o n s t r u c t i v i s t i c stance, a l l c o n f l i c t s are taken to be the inexorable r e s u l t of the d i f f e r e n t 85 sense people make of t h e i r experiences. A l l responses which i n d i c a t e that people with o s t e n s i b l y s i m i l a r experiences could come away with d i f f e r e n t subjective understandings are scored at t h i s l e v e l (see Appendix C for examples). The upshot of t h i s r e l a t i v i s t i c understanding of the nature of disagreement i s that no absolute f o o t i n g or perspective may be found from which to evaluate c o n f l i c t i n g knowledge claims. This i s r e f l e c t e d i n the b e l i e f that the posit i o n s of the p a r t i e s to c o n f l i c t s of the sort found i n the Epistemic Doubt Interview procedure are i r r e c o n c i l a b l e . The only r e s o l u t i o n strategies which are suggested or endorsed at t h i s s k e p t i c a l l e v e l are based on such non-rational strategies f o r making decisions as chance (tossing a c o i n ) , conformity (do what everyone else seems to be doing), or whim (doing whatever you f e e l ) (see Appendix C for examples). Level 3: Rationalism. The d e f i n i n g d i f f e r e n c e between a s k e p t i c a l and r a t i o n a l epistemic posture i s the r a t i o n a l i s t ' s b e l i e f that i t i s pos s i b l e to make informed choices and defend one's b e l i e f s despite the absence of any absolute c r i t e r i a f o r deciding which of a range of a l t e r n a t i v e options i s ul t i m a t e l y c o r r e c t . Unlike the skeptic who despairs of ever again having adequate grounds f o r b e l i e v i n g anything with c e r t a i n t y , the r a t i o n a l i s t invokes a l t e r n a t i v e c r i t e r i a of reasonableness, i n t e r n a l consistency, or scope of coverage as appropriate grounds f o r choosing among competing a l t e r n a t i v e s . Any suggestion that i t i s possible to resolve the c o n f l i c t presented i n the st o r i e s without concern over who i s absolutely r i g h t or wrong i s scored at t h i s l e v e l (see Appendix C f o r sample responses from a l l epistemic stage l e v e l s ) . 86 Assigning Epistemic Interview Scores Each subject's responses to these s t o r i e s generated s i x scoring opportunities or u n i t s . This t o t a l includes d i s t i n c t sets of problem construction and problem r e s o l u t i o n statements for both of the s t o r i e s and f o r the set of more general probes which closed out the interview. The following scoring sequence was followed i n a r r i v i n g at a sin g l e epistemic stage designation f o r each subject on each story problem. F i r s t , whenever the epistemic l e v e l s assigned to the problem construction and r e s o l u t i o n phases of the i n d i v i d u a l s t o r i e s were i d e n t i c a l , t h i s same scoring catagory was simply assigned as a summary score for that story. This was the case i n the majority (136 out of 163) of the scorable units (story responses). Of the remaining 27 const r u c t i o n / r e s o l u t i o n p a i r s , most (18) were instances i n which the problem construction portion of the response was scored at l e v e l 2 while the attendant r e s o l u t i o n strategy was scored at l e v e l 3. As was indica t e d e a r l i e r , l e v e l 3 r a t i o n a l strategies are intended to resolve, or provide ways of proceeding i n the face of the problem of r e l a t i v i s m as i t i s understood at l e v e l 2. A l e v e l 2 understanding of the challenge posed by the presence of competing knowledge claims thus frames the problem to which a l e v e l 3 r a t i o n a l strategy might provide the s o l u t i o n . A l l such problem/resolution units were scored as i n d i c a t i v e of l e v e l 3 epistemic assumptions. In a l l but 2 of the remaining 9 problem construction/resolution units the r e s o l u t i o n proposed was scored one stage higher than the i n i t i a l problem construction ( i . e . , l e v e l 2 vs. l e v e l 1 or l e v e l 1 vs. l e v e l 0). In add i t i o n , i n each such case the d e s c r i p t i o n of the proposed r e s o l u t i o n strategy included an e x p l i c i t r e -statement of the problem at a l e v e l consistent with that assigned to the 87 proposed r e s o l u t i o n strategy i t s e l f . In l i g h t of t h i s , and as a general scoring r u l e , a l l such instances were assigned to the higher of the two epistemic stages. Once t h i s within-story coding procedure was completed, the r e s u l t i n g scores were combined to produce a general epistemic stage score for each subject. Assignment of a si n g l e epistemic stage score across a l l three scoring opportunities was accomplished as follows: For 46 of the 61 subjects a l l of t h e i r story responses were scored at the same epistemic l e v e l which was thus assigned as t h e i r general epistemic stage score. The remaining 15 subjects responses spanned two epistemic l e v e l s . Following Piaget's convention of reporting such d i f f e r e n c e s as major and minor stage scores (1960; f o r a s p e c i f i c example of the a p p l i c a t i o n of these c r i t e r i a i n the area of moral reasoning see Kohlberg 1976 or Walker, 1980), the stage score assigned to two of t h e i r three construction/resolution units was assigned as t h e i r major epistemic stage while the remaining stage assignment was recorded as a minor stage. This process leads to a t o t a l of 10 p o s s i b l e scoring designations ranging from pure l e v e l 0 naive realism to pure l e v e l 3 r a t i o n a l i s m ( i . e . , 0, 0(1), 1(0), 1, 1(2), 2(1), 2, 2(3), 3(2), 3). For the purposes of c e r t a i n of the data a n a l y t i c strategies to be reported (e.g., s p e c i f i c a l l y , f o r the c o r r e l a t i o n s ) , t h i s sequence was treated as a continuous v a r i a b l e . For other purposes i n which more c a t e g o r i c a l comparisons were required (e.g., between cogni t i v e developmental l e v e l and i d e n t i t y status) a l l major/minor stage scores were rounded up to the next pure stage. This procedure i s warranted on the grounds that any c l e a r i n d i c a t i o n of a higher l e v e l appreciation of epistemic c o n f l i c t 88 can be understood as evidence of competence at that l e v e l even i f i t i s not yet i n v a r i a b l y evident i n performance. Use of t h i s scoring convention i s further warranted by the f a c t that responses obtained through the sort of interview procedure u t i l i z e d i n t h i s study are not as subject to the kind of f a l s e p o s i t i v e errors often found on paper-and-pencil item endorsement forms of enquiry. If a person can give scorable evidence of a higher l e v e l understanding i n an interview context i t i s important that they receive c r e d i t for that understanding. Consequently, i t was i n the s p i r i t of focusing i n i t i a l a t t e n t i o n on young people's best epistemic competence rather than the p a r t i c u l a r s of t h e i r performances that subjects' stage scores were rounded up i n the present study. Scoring R e l i a b i l i t y Following the scoring conventions o u t l i n e d above, each subject's scored responses to i n d i v i d u a l s t o r i e s were summarized to produce an o v e r a l l stage score. This process i s o b j e c t i v e and as such there need be no concern regarding the r e l i a b l i t y with which that arithmetic process was c a r r i e d out. However, two important r e l i a b i l i t y issues r e l a t i n g to the assignment of single interview scoring units to epistemic stages must be addressed. F i r s t , there i s the general question of the extent to which the conceptual d i s t i n c t i o n s between stages within the model have been c l e a r l y operationalized i n the scoring i n s t r u c t i o n s . This i s r e f l e c t e d i n the degree of agreement among d i f f e r e n t judges attempts to score subjects' interview responses. Related to t h i s , and of s p e c i a l concern i n l i g h t of the expectation that subjects' epistemic p o s i t i o n would be consistent across the s t o r i e s , i s the issue of whether, i n 89 scoring i n d i v i d u a l subjects' protocols, the p r i n c i p a l judge was biased towards a t t r i b u t i n g an a r t i f i c i a l l y high l e v e l of consistency i n epistemic stage across a l l of each subjects' responses by being aware of t h e i r scores on e a r l i e r s t o r i e s . To address .both of these r e l i a b i l i t y concerns, a random sample of 60 scoring u n i t s , i n c l u d i n g approximately equal numbers of problem construction and r e s o l u t i o n statements from each of the three sections of the interview, was drawn from the sample of a l l scoring units that had been scored by the author. These scoring units were typed on separate cards with no i d e n t i f y i n g numbers or scoring designations. The cards were then shuffled and b l i n d l y scored by four other judges f a m i l i a r with the scoring c r i t e r i a . Percentage agreement between these judges and the author's scoring was 79%, 85.2%, 88.9% and 90%. In addition, i n a l l but 3 of the cases where there were mismatches among the judges, the d i f f e r e n c e was not more than one stage. That these l e v e l s of agreement were obtained with r a t e r s b l i n d not only to the i d e n t i t y of the subject but also to the remaining f i v e sixths of each subject's protocol indicates that responses to the interview may be r e l i a b l y assigned to s p e c i f i c epistemic stages using the scoring system, described above and further d e t a i l e d i n Appendix C, and that t h i s may be accomplished when whole protocols are scored without there being a detectable b i a s i n g of stage scoring i n favour of greater within-subject consistency. 90 Measures of Identity While there i s some continuing debate as to what constitutes a d e f i n i t i v e measure of formal operations, there i s an almost t o t a l consensus concerning measures of i d e n t i t y . Since i t s introduction, Marcia's (1966) Identity Status Interview (ISI) has been widely accepted as a useful and r e l i a b l e measure of i d e n t i t y formation i n l a t e adolescence (Bourne, 1978a, 1978b). Marcia's f a m i l i a r o p e r a t i o n a l i z a t i o n of Erikson's psychosocial account of i d e n t i t y formation s p e c i f i e s four i d e n t i t y statuses (diffused, foreclosed, moratorium, and achieved) each of which are seen to depend j o i n t l y upon the presence or absence of a sense of c r i s i s regarding the need to make i d e n t i t y d e f i n i n g choices and upon the f e l t need to commit oneself to some p a r t i c u l a r set of goals, values, or b e l i e f s . The Identity Status Interview consists of a serie s of questions aimed at e l i c i t i n g statements regarding the subject's experience of c r i s i s and the presence of commitment i n the areas of occupational choice, r e l i g i o u s b e l i e f s , p o l i t i c a l philosophy, sex r o l e s , and sexual intercourse. This procedure was o r i g i n a l l y intended f o r use with l a t e adolescents and young adults i n a c o l l e g e s e t t i n g . Other i n v e s t i g a t o r s have undertaken to develop o b j e c t i v e measures of ego-identity status and to adapt them f or use with e a r l y and middle adolescent populations. Such objective procedures are quicker and easier to administer and may be given to groups of subjects. By contrast, one-on-one contact and considerable t r a i n i n g are required to u s e f u l l y conduct and score the Marcian Interview. While objective measures of i d e n t i t y have been used i n a range of studies (for reviews see Bourne, 1978a, 1978b; Bosma, 1985; and Craig-Bray and Adams, 1985), 91 the c r i t e r i o n against which t h e i r v a l i d i t y as a measure of ego-identity status must be evaluated i s the Marcia Identity Interview. The a v a i l a b l e o b j e c t i v e measures have achieved varying degrees of concurrent v a l i d i t y with t h i s interview procedure. The one that f a i r s as well or better than most i s Gerald Adams' Objective Measure of Ego-Identity Status (OM-EIS). The OM-EIS consists of 64 items covering 4 content areas within each of 2 general i d e n t i t y domains. The i d e o l o g i c a l domain i s comprised of r e l i g i o u s , p o l i t i c a l , occupational, and p h i l o s o p h i c a l l i f e s t y l e content areas. The interpersonal domain i s comprised of frie n d s h i p , dating, sex ro l e s , and r e c r e a t i o n a l a c t i v i t y content areas. Focussing upon the presence or absence of c r i s i s and commitment, two items within each content area were written so as to r e f l e c t the combination of c r i s i s and commitment held to define each of the i d e n t i t y statuses. Subjects are asked to rate, on a 6 point scale, the degree to which each item r e f l e c t s t h e i r own thinking i n each of the content areas. These ratings are then summed across content areas within statuses and domains to produce scores f o r each subject on each i d e n t i t y status within each domain. These scores may be treated separately or summed to produce an o v e r a l l score for each subject on each i d e n t i t y status scale. When desired, these scale scores may be converted to a c a t e g o r i c a l i d e n t i t y status assignment using the following c r i t e r i a . 1. Individuals with scores f a l l i n g one standard deviation above the mean on a given scale were scored as being i n that status i f a l l remaining scores f e l l below that c u t o f f . 92 2. Individuals with scores f a l l i n g less than 1 standard deviation above the mean on a l l four measures were scored as moratorium (such a low p r o f i l e was assumed to r e f l e c t a unique form of i d e n t i t y c r i s i s ) . 3. Individuals with more than 1 score above the standard deviation c u t t i n g score were scored as persons i n t r a n s i t i o n and given a " t r a n s i t i o n a l stage" typology, e.g., diffusion-moratorium, d i f f u s i o n - f o r e c l o s u r e , etc. (Adams, Shea, and F i t c h , 1979). Using these c r i t e r i a , the convergence between the OM-EIS and the Marcia Interview has ranged from 70 to 100% f o r the four i d e n t i t y statuses (Adams, Shea, and F i t c h , 1979, Adams, Ryan, Hoffman, Dobson, and Neilson 1984). These l e v e l s of convergence are at l e a s t as high as the l e v e l of i n t e r - r a t e r agreement commonly reported for scoring of the Marcia Interview (Marcia, 1980). In l i g h t of t h i s , the OM-EIS was adapted for use i n the present study. Minor changes were made i n several OM-EIS items to render them more appropriate for use with high school students. Any item which r e f e r r e d to career or vocational goals was amended to include reference to educational goals as w e l l . In a d d i t i o n , several items r e l a t i n g to sex r o l e s were expanded s l i g h t l y , due to the age of the present sample, to include consideration of future marriage and spousal r o l e s . The c r i t e r i a by which subjects' scale scores were converted to c a t e g o r i c a l status designations were also s l i g h t l y modified. The convention, proposed by Adams, of assigning those subjects whose scores f e l l below the standard d e v i a t i o n c u t - o f f point on a l l status scales to 93 the moratorium status i s seen here as more of a methodological convenience to allow the r e t e n t i o n of subjects than a t h e o r e t i c a l l y d e f e n s i b l e d e c i s i o n r u l e . It i s more appropriate, e s p e c i a l l y given the younger age of the present sample and the suggestion that these two types of moratorium may d i f f e r i n other ways (Abraham, 1983), to maintain that such subjects d i s t i n g u i s h themselves by. purposefully avoiding endorsement of any item which i n d i c a t e s serious concern with i d e n t i t y i s s u e s . As such, a l l subjects whose scale scores f e l l below the standard d e v i a t i o n c u t - o f f point on a l l scales were assigned i n t h i s study to the i d e n t i t y d i f f u s e d status. An a d d i t i o n a l advantage of the OM-EIS i s that i t makes i t possible to consider subjects' r e l a t i v e i d e n t i t y status preference by comparing t h e i r scores on each of the i d e n t i t y status subscales. This sort of a n a l y s i s , o r i g i n a l l y suggested by Marcia (1966) and advanced by Lieper (1981), acknowledges that subjects' place i n the i d e n t i t y formation process may not be optimally defined by a s i n g l e status and may be better described by an i d e n t i t y status p r o f i l e . F i n a l l y , past research has indicated that people's consideration of i d e n t i t y issues may vary depending upon content domain with males being more l i k e l y to evidence "higher status" considerations within the i d e o l o g i c a l domain and females more l i k e l y to do so i n the interpersonal domain (Marcia, 1980). To account for t h i s , the adapted c l a s s i f i c a t i o n c r i t e r i a were applied to subjects' scale scores i n each of the content domains. Of the 61 students comprising the f i n a l sample and for whom complete data was a v a i l a b l e , 30 were categorized within the same i d e n t i t y status on both the i d e o l o g i c a l and interpersonal subscales. The remaining 31 subjects were c l a s s i f i e d i n t o a s i n g l e status on one 94 subscale and f e l l below the cu t t i n g scores on the other scales. A l l subjects of t h i s second sort were assigned to the status f o r which they met the entrance c r i t e r i a regardless of content domain. Before moving on to a consideration of the r e s u l t s of t h i s study i t i s necessary to b r i e f l y consider how the psychometric q u a l i t i e s of the OM-EIS, as demonstrated within the present sample, compare to i t s performance i n other samples. The l e v e l s of r e l i a b i l i t y and discriminant v a l i d i t y found f o r the OM-EIS i n the present sample are comparable to those reported by Bennion and Adams (1986). Levels of i n t e r n a l consistency, as indicated by Cronbach's Alpha c o e f f i c i e n t range from adequate to good (see Table 1) with the exception of the Ideo l o g i c a l D i f f u s i o n scale and the Interpersonal Moratorium scale (Alpha= 0.44 and 0.39 r e s p e c t i v e l y ) . Discriminant and convergent v a l i d i t y l e v e l s are indicated by the i n t e r c o r r e l a t i o n s among the i d e n t i t y scale across both content domains as presented i n Table 2. For a l l but the Ideological D i f f u s i o n scale, each scale within the Ideological content domain co r r e l a t e s strongly and p o s i t i v e l y with i t s counterpart scale i n the Interpersonal content domain and negatively or i n s i g n i f i c a n t l y with most of the other scales i n both domains. This c o r r e l a t i o n a l structure was examined further by submitting i t to a p r i n c i p a l components f a c t o r analysis run on the eight i d e n t i t y sub-scales. Varimax r o t a t i o n of the r e s u l t i n g three factor s o l u t i o n (see Table 3) y i e l d e d a clear i d e n t i t y achieved f a c t o r as well as factors which were labeled foreclosure and moratorium. The f a i l u r e of the d i f f u s i o n scales to define t h e i r own fa c t o r (even i n a forced four factor s o l u t i o n ) , and to load instead on the moratorium and foreclosure TABLE 1 OM-EIS Scale R e l i a b i l i t i e s (Cronbach's Alpha) Ideological Interpersonal Diffused .44 .65 Foreclosed .58 .76 Moratorium .72 .39 Achieved .68 .65 96 TABLE 2 OM - EIS Subscale I n t e r c o r r e l a t i o n s Ideological Foreel• Mor. Ide o l o g i c a l D i f f u s e d Foreclosed Moratorium Achieved .26 .28 .19 Ach. * -.22 -.06 -.18 Interpersonal D i f f . F o r e c l . Mor. Ach. .23 i .34 .09 .08 .28 .52 .19 .07 .27 -.19 .48" .13 .21 •.07 .06 .41 Interpersonal D i f f u s e d Foreclosed Moratorium N = 67 .24 -.03 •.19 -.17 .18 .16 *• £ < .05 ** £ < .01 *** £ < .001 97 TABLE 3 Ego-Identity Scales Factor Structure Using Varimax Rotation Factors* I II III I d e o l o g i c a l Diffused .60 Foreclosed .81 Moratorium .81 Achieved .83 Interpersonal Diffused .56 .65 Foreclosed .78 Moratorium .76 Achieved .82 % of Variance Accounted for 25.6% 21.9% 18.6% T o t a l Variance Accounted for = 66.1% * Inclusion c r i t e r i a : A l l factor loadings above .25 are included i n t h i s t a b l e . 98 factors may r e f l e c t a general lack of concern with matters of i d e n t i t y on the part of c e r t a i n subjects i n the present high-school sample who either b e l i e v e they have had t h e i r answers a l l along ( f o r e c l o s u r e ) , or who are working towards them at an unhurried pace (moratorium). It i s al s o suggested by these data that there may be more than one type of d i f f u s i o n within the d i f f u s i o n . s t a t u s , a p o s s i b i l i t y which w i l l be returned to i n more d e t a i l below i n the r e s u l t s section. To summarize, b r i e f l y , subjects i n t h i s study were i n i t i a l l y screened using three measures of formal operational competence: the p r o b a b i l i t y and combinatorial reasoning tasks and the i s o l a t i o n of var i a b l e s task. On the basis of t h e i r responses to these measures, subjects who were c l e a r l y c l a s s i f i a b l e as ei t h e r concrete or formal operational were given the remaining measures. Subjects who could not be unambiguously c l a s s i f i e d were dropped from further consideration. Subjects continuing i n the study completed the OM-EIS and were assigned to an i d e n t i t y status on the basis of t h e i r responses according to Adams' e a r l i e r d e t a i l e d c r i t e r i a . These same subjects were also administered the Epistemic Doubt Interview and, on t h i s basis, were assigned to an epistemic l e v e l . 99 Procedure Each student volunteer was seen i n d i v i d u a l l y i n a room provided by the school f o r both the screening and t e s t i n g sessions. Students p a r t i c i p a t i n g i n the co g n i t i v e screening procedure were f i r s t administered a task of p r o b a b i l i t y reasoning. This task was procedurally less complex than the other formal operational tasks to be administered and thus aided i n e s t a b l i s h i n g a rapport with the student. Following t h i s the combinatorial reasoning and i s o l a t i o n of v a r i a b l e s tasks were administered i n randomized order. If the subject c l e a r l y had d i f f i c u l t y with a l l of the formal operational tasks they were administered the concrete operational subtest of the p r o b a b i l i t y procedure. Total t e s t i n g time i n the screening session was approximately 20 minutes. Student's responses on these tasks were recorded on answer sheets by the experimenter for l a t e r scoring. Inte r - r a t e r r e l i a b i l i t y was checked on a randomly chosen subset of the data using two or more a d d i t i o n a l r a t e r s . The procedures by which t h i s was accomplished were d e t a i l e d i n the measures sections above (sections 5.4 to 5.6). For those students selected to continue on the basis of the screening procedures, the second t e s t i n g session took place on a subsequent day and las t e d f o r 40 to 60 minutes. In t h i s session students were administered the OM-EIS and the nascent s k e p t i c a l doubt interview i n random order. A l l responses were recorded on audio tape and l a t e r transcribed f o r scoring and a n a l y s i s . 100 CHAPTER 6: RESULTS This section d e t a i l s the r e s u l t s of the several empirical steps undertaken i n an e f f o r t to evaluate the proposed model of epistemic development and i t s a n t i c i p a t e d r e l a t i o n s to other developmental v a r i a b l e s i n c l u d i n g age, cognitive developmental maturity, and i d e n t i t y status. Section 6.2 describes the outcome of a series of attempts to determine the extent to which these f i n d i n g s conform to usual c r i t e r i a f o r a s t r i c t stage model. Section 6.3 describes the r e s u l t s r e l a t i n g to the nature of the r e l a t i o n s h i p between formal operations and s k e p t i c a l doubt. Following t h i s the d i s t r i b u t i o n of i d e n t i t y statuses within the present sample w i l l be reported i n section 6.4 and the r e l a t i o n between cogniti v e development and i d e n t i t y formation w i l l be reported i n section 6.5. F i n a l l y , section 6.6 d e t a i l s the r e s u l t s of e f f o r t s to further r e l a t e these data to an associated set of findings regarding the i d e n t i t y status of these same subjects. S t r u c t u r a l Adequacy of the Epistemic Stage Model The summarry epistemic stage scores f o r each subject provide the best means of t e s t i n g the adequacy of the stage model advanced i n t h i s study. Table 4 arrays these summary scores by grade l e v e l . Both males and females were approximately equally d i s t r i b u t e d across the epistemic l e v e l s (Mann-Whitney U-Test, z= -.36, p_ > 0.7). Two important r e s u l t s may be observed i n t h i s table. F i r s t , i t i s c l e a r that with increasing age, as i n d i c a t e d by grade l e v e l i n Table 4, there i s a corresponding increase i n o v e r a l l epistemic stage score. This i s r e f l e c t e d i n a c o r r e l a t i o n of 0.30 (p_ < 0.01 Note: A l l c o r r e l a t i o n c o e f f i c i e n t s are Pearson product moment c o e f f i c i e n t s ) between age and epistemic stage score (see Table 5). The present c r o s s - s e c t i o n a l . TABLE 4 Epistemic Level by Grade Epistemic Level Grade Realistic Dogmatic Skeptical Rational 8 7 11 8 1 (26%)* (41%) (30%) (3%) 10 2 5 5 3 (14%) (33%) (33%) (20%) 11, 12 0 4 11 4 (0%) (21%) (58%) (21%) = 61 * Row percentages are indicated in brackets 102 TABLE 5 C o r r e l a t i o n Matrix Age, Developmental and Epistemic Level Cognitive Epistemic Developmental Level Level ** * Age .45 .30 Cognitive Developmental .54 Level * = 0.01 = 0.001 103 r e s u l t s do conform, then, with the minimal requirement that any proposed developmental sequence must show some r e l a t i o n to chronological age. At the same time i t i s also apparent that, as with many developmental constructs, there i s also considerable within-age v a r i a b i l i t y i n epistemic l e v e l ( i . e . , most l e v e l s are represented at a l l grades). S t r u c t u r a l theories of cognitive development, such as that which has guided the present research e f f o r t , hold out only modest expectations regarding f i r s t - o r d e r r e l a t i o n s h i p s between age and constructs of i n t e r e s t , and instead judge the adequacy of any proposed developmental v a r i a b l e against the more demanding c r i t e r i a that they covary with other c o g n i t i v e v a r i a b l e s and conform to other c r i t e r i a for s t r i c t stage models in c l u d i n g the f a m i l i a r structure, sequence, and hierarchy c r i t e r i a described above i n section 3.1 of chapter 3. It i s thus necessary to evaluate the performance of the proposed epistemic stage model against these c r i t e r i a before proceeding with comparisons between i t and other developmental constructs. Consequently, each of these c r i t e r i a of s t r u c t u r a l adequacy w i l l be addressed i n turn. The structure c r i t e r i o n . The structure c r i t e r i o n demands that people be i n t e r n a l l y consistent i n t h e i r epistemic l e v e l assignments across varying contexts and contents, and further that t h e i r responses to the epistemic interview probes be homogeneously grouped about a single epistemic l e v e l . In order to t e s t these expectations, the 366 scoring units c o l l e c t e d i n the study were considered ( i . e . , a problem construction score and a r e s o l u t i o n score on each of two s t o r i e s and the summarial questions for each of the 61 subjects). Of t h i s p o t e n t i a l t o t a l , 26 scores were missing as a consequence of the fa c t that a subset of the 104 sample d i d not receive part three of the interview procedure due to time and scheduling c o n s t r a i n t s . Of the remaining 340 scoring u n i t s , 27 were not c l e a r l y c l a s s i f i a b l e due to lack of s u f f i c i e n t elaboration on the subjects' p art. Of the remaining 313 scorable responses, 75% were scored at subjects' modal epistemic stage and 17% were scored at an adjacent stage e i t h e r above or below the modal stage but not both. There was only one subject who had responses scored at three epistemic stages, though these too were adjacent. This l e v e l of consistency, with 92% of a l l scorable responses being coded at the modal or a si n g l e adjacent stage, compares very favourably with r e s u l t s i n the domain of moral reasoning reported by Colby et a l . (1983) i n r e l a t i o n to Kohlberg's 5 stage model of moral reasoning development. Colby et a l . found 68-72% of moral reasoning scored at modal stage and 97-99% scored at the two most frequent and always adjacent stages. On these grounds, the r e s u l t s from the present sample are taken as providing strong support for the model having f u l f i l l e d the c r i t e r i o n of i n t e r n a l consistency. The d i v i s i o n of the epistemic interview i n t o three sections ( i . e . , two s t o r i e s and a set of summarry questions) a l s o permitted a check on the consistency of subjects* epistemic stage scores across d i f f e r i n g story contents. Given the method o u t l i n e d e a r l i e r (see chapter 5, section 5.5) by which a general stage score was a r r i v e d at for each subject i n each interview segment, the question of cross-context consistency may be addressed by comparing the number of subjects whose general epistemic stage score represents a single pure stage score with those whose general scores r e f l e c t a combination of two stages. In the present sample, 46 (75%) of the subjects were assigned the same stage score i n a l l three interview sections. A l l of the remaining subjects 105 were scored at the same stage i n two out of three interview sections with the t h i r d section being scored at an adjacent stage. This r e s u l t , along with the previously reported f i n d i n g of within subject consistency at the l e v e l of problem construction and r e s o l u t i o n , i s seen to argue strongly f o r the appropriateness of stage-typing i n d i v i d u a l s ' epistemic assumptions. The sequence c r i t e r i o n . Adherence to the sequence c r i t e r i o n ( i . e . , that the subjects w i l l pass through the proposed stages i n a f i x e d sequence), i n order to be properly assessed, requires both long term l o n g i t u d i n a l t e s t i n g , to check f o r regression, and short term experimental interventions, to check for the p o s s i b i l i t y of stage skipping. While such strong t e s t s of the sequence c r i t e r i o n are not pos s i b l e i n the present c r o s s - s e c t i o n a l study, two a v a i l a b l e findings are consistent with what i s required to s a t i s f y t h i s sequence c r i t e r i o n . F i r s t , the r e s u l t s reported i n section 5.5 are consistent with the sort of developmental movement which would be required to s a t i s f y the sequence c r i t e r i o n i n that a l l subjects' responses were found to be i n eith e r one stage, or at most, i n two adjacent stages. If movement through the stages was t r u l y non-systematic, then a greater d i v e r s i t y of stage scores would be expected than was observed i n the present study. Second, the p o s i t i v e c o r r e l a t i o n between age and epistemic stage (r = 0.30, £ < 0.01) i s i n d i c a t i v e of movement from lower to higher epistemic stages with development. Thus while the d e f i n i t i v e t e s t of the adherence of the present epistemic stage model to the sequence c r i t e r i o n awaits a l o n g i t u d i n a l research design, the cr o s s - s e c t i o n a l r e s u l t s c u r r e n t l y under consideration argue f o r the prospect that the model may be shown to s a t i s f y the sequence c r i t e r i o n . 106 The hierarchy criterion. Finally, in view of the fact that the epistemic stages described i n this study have the character of integrated structures and that a provisional case has been made for their defining an ordered developmental sequence, i t is possible to address the extent to which each of these stages represent a hierarchical integration of previous stages as demanded by the. hierarchy criterion. As detailed in section 3.1 of chapter 3, a further study in which young people are presented with pairs of statements differing in their level of epistemic maturity and are asked to select which of each of these they prefer is necessary i f one wishes to properly test such a model's adherence to the hierarchy c r i t e r i a . Short of this more direct test, some evidence, more conceptual than empirical, can be obtained through an examination of the scoring c r i t e r i a employed in the present study. It was with this hierarchy criterion in mind that the structural interview was written in such a way as to oblige subjects to consider the f u l l range of possible epistemic solutions and c r i t e r i a for classifying subjects' responses by epistemic stage were developed. Given this interview structure, the hierarchy criteri o n i s satisfied to the extent that subjects evidence a preference for higher stage responses and are consistently scored at a single stage. As was detailed in the discussion of the structure criterion above, such consistency was found in the present sample and this, along with the format of the interview procedure, provisionally argues in favor of the claim that the proposed model of epistemic development does satisfy the hierarchy criterion. With this in hand i t is now possible to move on to consideration of the relation of young person's epistemic stage to their more general 107 cognitive developmental l e v e l and t h e i r place i n the i d e n t i t y formation process. Epistemic Assumptions and Formal Operations The hypothesis under consideration regarding the nature of the r e l a t i o n between general c o g n i t i v e developmental l e v e l and epistemic stage score (see chapter 2, section 2.3) i s grounded i n the o r i e n t i n g assumption that both are manifestations of the same underlying c o g n i t i v e structure. By t h i s understanding, changes i n t h i s underlying structure should be r e f l e c t e d i n simultaneous changes i n both general c o g n i t i v e and epistemic developmental l e v e l s . This leads to the expectation that the c o r r e l a t i o n between epistemic stage and cognitive developmental l e v e l ought to be strong and p o s i t i v e . In addition, t h i s c o r r e l a t i o n ought to be independent of age, as c o g n i t i v e s t r u c t u r a l development i s not understood to be caused by age or experience, despite being r e l a t e d to both. To t e s t t h i s hypothesis, zero-order c o r r e l a t i o n s were ca l c u l a t e d between age, c o g n i t i v e developmental l e v e l , and epistemic stage (see Table 5). As a n t i c i p a t e d , a l l of these r e l a t i o n s were p o s i t i v e and s t a t i s t i c a l l y s i g n i f i c a n t , (r = 0.54, £ < 0.001 between epistemic l e v e l and cognitive l e v e l ; 0.30, £ < 0.01 between age and epistemic stage, and 0.45, £ < 0.001 between age and c o g n i t i v e l e v e l ) . When the e f f e c t s of age are c o n t r o l l e d by p a r t i a l l i n g them out of the c o r r e l a t i o n between cognitive l e v e l and epistemic stage, the c o r r e l a t i o n drops only minimally from 0.54 to 0.51 (an r value of that magnitude i s s t i l l strongly s i g n i f i c a n t , £ < 0.001). This degree of independent relatedness i s highly consistent with the s t r u c t u r a l i n t e r r e l a t i o n hypothesised between epistemic and c o g n i t i v e development. 108 The f a c t that these two measures are p o s i t i v e l y associated does not demonstrate, however, that the two stage models a c t u a l l y l i n e up as predicted. As argued e a r l i e r , i t was expected that the second order r e f l e c t i v e a b i l i t y g enerally thought to be d e f i n i t i o n a l of formal operational thought should cost subjects t h e i r e a r l i e r r e a l i s t i c assumptions regarding the f i x e d r e l a t i o n between b e l i e f and experience and introduce i n i t s place a c o n s t r u c t i v i s t i c epistemic stance i n which the knower i s seen to somehow organize or c o n s t i t u t e what i s known. This hypothesized transformation leads to the p r e d i c t i o n that those subjects who f a i l to evidence formal operational competence on t r a d i t i o n a l cognitive developmental tasks and who are instead categorized as concrete operational, ought to be found at epistemic l e v e l 0 ( i . e . , epistemic r e a l i s m ) . By contrast, a l l those subjects who were c l e a r l y c l a s s i f i a b l e as formal operational, ought to appreciate that there i s more to knowledge than simple experience and, as a consequence, should score at or above epistemic l e v e l 1 (dogmatism) i n the epistemic stage model. The cl o s e s t s t a t i s t i c a l analog that can be brought forward i n support of the claim that both formal operations and n o n - r e a l i s t i c epistemologies are a l t e r n a t i v e manifestations of the same underlying structure i s to demonstrate some measure of close agreement between t e s t s intended to index each of these two constructs. Cohen's (1960) Kappa s t a t i s t i c optimally surves t h i s comparative purpose. Table 6 presents a 2 (cognitive l e v e l ) by 2 (epistemic l e v e l ) contingency table i n which concrete and formal operational subjects are arrayed i n terms of whether they evidence a l e v e l 0, r e a l i s t i c epistemic posture or some higher, c o n s t r u c t i v i s t i c , epistemic stance. The r e s u l t s i n t h i s table c l e a r l y support the hypothesized r e l a t i o n s h i p between 109 TABLE 6 Cognitive Developmental Level By Epistemic Level Epistemic Level Cognitive Developmental Level Realism Dogmatic, Skeptical, and Rational Concrete Operational N = 12 7 (60%) 5 (40%) Formal Operational N = 49 2 (5%) 47 (95%) TABLE 6B Cognitive Developmental Level by Epistemic Level Epistemic Level Cognitive Developmental Realistic Dogmatic Skeptical Rational Level Concrete Operational 6 4 2 0 (50%) (33%) (27%) (0%) Formal Operational 2 (4%) 17 (35%) 22 (45%) 8 (16%) N = 61 110 these two developmental constructs (X*(l)=18.45, £ < 0.001, Note: Yate's c o r r e c t i o n was applied to X values derived from 2 X 2 contingency t a b l e s ) . These r e s u l t s r e f l e c t not only an association between these constructs but also strong point by point agreement (Cohen's Kappa, z=0.87, £ < 0.01). The strength of t h i s r e s u l t i s obviously due to the f a c t that v i r t u a l l y a l l of the formal operational subjects scored at or above epistemic l e v e l 1 (dogmatism). What i s not e n t i r e l y consistent with the o r i g i n a l p r e d i c t i o n i s that a number of concrete operational subjects scored above l e v e l 0 (realism) i n the epistemic stage model. Two a d d i t i o n a l r e s u l t s mitigate the s i g n i f i c a n c e of t h i s seemingly inconsistent f i n d i n g . F i r s t , of the 5 concrete operational subjects scoring above stage 0, 2 were scored only marginally higher with a mixed stage score of 1(0) and only one of the remaining three scored as high as l e v e l 2. Second, i n an e f f o r t to keep the age d i f f e r e n c e s between the concrete and young formal operational subjects i n the sample as small as p o s s i b l e , the lower grade boundary of the sample was set at grade 8. In t h i s age range, young people c l e a r l y c l a s s i f i a b l e as concrete operational are i n short supply as i n d i c a t e d by the number of t r a n s i t i o n a l young people dropped from the study following i n i t i a l screening (40 out of 110). This means that purely concrete operational young people are i n the minority i n the population from which the present sample was drawn. As a consequence, the most l i k e l y error to be made i n assigning subjects to cognitive l e v e l s would be to include, i n the concrete operational group, young people who were, i n f a c t , i n t r a n s i t i o n to or even capable of formal operational modes of thought. I l l F i n a l l y , with regards to the scoring of subjects' responses to the epistemic interview, the d i s t i n c t i o n between realism and dogmatism, while c l e a r on conceptual grounds, i s l i k e l y the most d i f f i c u l t one to make when scoring subjects' responses to the story problems. Quite young c h i l d r e n often use the term "opinion" and niay even oppose i t to the term " f a c t " i n ways that make i t d i f f i c u l t to d i s t i n g u i s h them from dogmatists. As previously suggested i n the presentation of scoring c r i t e r i a i n section 5.5 of chapter 5, r e a l i s t s b e l i e v e that opinions are introduced as informed guesses only a f t e r a l l of the simple t r u t h has been extracted from the f a c t s while the dogmatists believe that opinions intrude upon and d i s t o r t the f a c t s i n ways that can only be sorted out with expert assistance. Given t h i s p o t e n t i a l scoring confusion, and the e a r l i e r c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n of dogmatism as an interim defense against the f u l l implications of r e l a t i v i s e d skepticism, the r e l a t i o n between formal operations and a f u l l y r e l a t i v i s e d epistemic stance ought to be c l e a r e r i f dogmatic subjects are removed from Table 6. As may be seen i n Table 7, t h i s i n f a c t was the case ( X 2 ( l ) = 17.35, £ < 0.01, Cohen's Kappa = 0.714, £ < 0.01). Consideration of these points, along with the r e s u l t s presented i n Tables 6 and 7, indicates that the same s t r u c t u r a l changes held to underpin the s h i f t from concrete to formal operational modes of thought also may be seen to underlie the r e l a t e d s h i f t from a r e a l i s t i c epistemic stance ( l e v e l 0), to ones based on a c o n s t r u c t i v i s t i c view of the knowing process ( l e v e l s 1, 2, and 3). With t h i s connection established, and with confirmation of the developmental stage q u a l i t i e s of the epistemological model, i t i s now p o s s i b l e to proceed towards a TABLE 7 Cognitive Developmental Level By Epistemic Level Cognitive Developmental Level Realistic Epistemic Level Skeptical or Rational Concrete Operational N = 9 (78%) (22%) Formal Operational N = 32 (6%) 30 (94%) 113 d e s c r i p t i v e account of the r e l a t i o n found to obtain between these stages of epistemic development and outcomes i n the i d e n t i t y formation process. Ide n t i t y Status Designation On the basis of scoring c r i t e r i a d e t a i l e d i n section 5.6, a l l 61 subjects were assigned to either a d i f f u s e d , foreclosed, moratorium, or achieved i d e n t i t y status. Table 8 d i s p l a y s the d i s t r i b u t i o n of those i d e n t i t y statuses by grade. No sex e f f e c t s were observed i n a 2 (Sex) by 8 ( I d e n t i t y subscales) repeated measure ANOVA on subjects' scores on the four status scales within each of the content domains. Once these status scale scores were converted to d i s c r e t e i d e n t i t y status designations using the c r i t e r i a o u t l i n e d i n section 5.6, males and females were found to be approximately equally d i s t r i b u t e d across the i d e n t i t y statuses (Mann-Whitney U-Test z=-0.307, £ > 0.75). In a d d i t i o n , some previous research has suggested that females are more l i k e l y to be c l e a r l y assignable to a si n g l e i d e n t i t y status on the basis of t h e i r responses to the interpersonal items of the OM-EIS while males are more e a s i l y assigned to statuses on the basis of t h e i r responses to i d e o l o g i c a l OM-EIS items. However, among those subjects i n the present sample who were assigned to an i d e n t i t y status on the basis of t h e i r responses within a single OM-EIS content domain, there was no greater tendency for females as opposed to males to be c l a s s i f i e d s o l e l y on the basis of t h e i r responses i n the interpersonal domain (11 out of 17 females as opposed to 7 out of 11 males). The r e s u l t s as presented i n Table 8 are therefore collapsed across sex. 114 TABLE 8 Grade By Ego Identity Status Ego Identity Status Grade Foreclosed Diffused Moratorium Achieved 8 (N = 27) 5 (19%)* 12 (44%) 6 (22%) 4 (15%) 10 (N = 15) 3 (20%) 2 (13%) 4 (27%) 6 (40%) 11, 12 (N = 19) 1 (5%) 5 (26%) 5 (26%) 8 (43%) N = 61 * Row percentages are indicated i n brackets. 115 As a n t i c i p a t e d , the r e l a t i o n between grade and i d e n t i t y status i s not strong. The c o r r e l a t i o n between age and i d e n t i t y status i s only moderate (r = 0.34, £ < 0.01). As d e t a i l e d e a r l i e r , t h e o r e t i c expectations regarding the appropriate developmental path to be taken through these statuses have never been p a r t i c u l a r l y c l e a r . I t i s i n response to t h i s lack of c l a r i t y that a c e n t r a l purpose of the present empirical e f f o r t has been to better a r t i c u l a t e the developmental course by which i d e n t i t y issues are n e c e s s a r i l y encountered and understood. Cognitive S t r u c t u r a l Development and Identity Formation As previously d e t a i l e d i n section 4.1, a r e l a t i o n s h i p between formal operational thought and Marcia's i d e n t i t y status typology has long been hypothesised (Rowe and Marcia, 1980). As already noted, however, the r e s u l t s of studies intended to demonstrate these r e l a t i o n s have been equivocal, with some researchers f i n d i n g and others f a i l i n g to f i n d a c l e a r r e l a t i o n s h i p between the attainment of formal operations and one's l o c a t i o n within the i d e n t i t y status scheme. Most commonly i t has been argued that the attainment of formal operational modes of thought should be a necessary p r e r e q u i s i t e to entry i n t o either of the "higher" moratorium or achieved i d e n t i t y statuses (Rowe and Marcia, 1980). By t h i s debatable standard the present empirical e f f o r t f a i r s no better than i t s predecessors. As Table 9 i n d i c t a t e s , there i s no systematic tendency (X 2(l)=1.66) for concrete operational subjects to be found i n the d i f f u s e d or foreclosed statuses, or for formal operational subjects to be found i n the moratorium and achieved statuses. Were t h i s the extent of the r e s u l t s , l i t t l e more could be said about the way i n which c o g n i t i v e developmental accomplishments map onto the i d e n t i t y status domain. 116 TABLE 9 Cognitive Developmental Level By Ego-Identity Status Ego-Identity Status Cognitive Diffused or Moratorium or Developmental Foreclosed Achieved Level Concrete 8 4 Operational N = 12 (67%) (33%) Formal Operational N = 49 20 (40%) 29 (60%) 117 As discussed i n chapter 4 however, the f a i l u r e on the part of previous i n v e s t i g a t o r s to demonstrate any compelling r e l a t i o n between formal operations and i d e n t i t y status can be assigned, i n p r i n c i p l e , to the f a c t that the achievement of formal operational thought has r o u t i n e l y been treated as a unitary or monolithic accomplishment. Nothing r e l a t e s well to unity, and i f i d e n t i t y development begins to d i f f e r e n t i a t e at just that point i n development where cognition i s seen to converge on a single formal operational s t y l e of thought, then one of these domains can hardly be expected to predict the other. C l e a r l y , unless or u n t i l formal operational thought i s further subdivided i n t o a sequence of succeeding substages, as was done i n t h i s research, no hope of e s t a b l i s h i n g such a r e l a t i o n i s p o s s i b l e . What w i l l now be presented and discussed are the r e s u l t s of the empirical i n v e s t i g a t i o n into the underlap and overlap between the four part epistemic stage model proposed here and junctures within the i d e n t i t y formation process. Epistemic Level and Ego-Identiy Status Reporting of the r e s u l t s relevant to the r e l a t i o n between epistemic l e v e l and ego-identity status w i l l proceed i n three steps. F i r s t , r e s u l t s w i l l be presented which are relevant to the global p r e d i c t i o n that a f u l l r e a l i z a t i o n of the generic nature of epistemic doubt i s a necessary p r e r e q u i s i t e for advancement to either the moratorium or achieved i d e n t i t y statuses within the i d e n t i t y formation process. In a d d i t i o n , the ser i e s of hypotheses regarding the r e l a t i o n between s p e c i f i c epistemic l e v e l s and i d e n t i t y status designation w i l l also be presented. Following t h i s , the d e t a i l s of the c r o s s - c l a s s i f i c a t i o n of the present sample by epistemic l e v e l and ego-identity status w i l l be examined from two perspectives. Given that the o r i e n t i n g focus of t h i s 118 research i s cognitive developmental i n nature, the f i r s t pass through the data arrayed i n Table 10 w i l l involve a separate examination of the range of responses to the OM-EIS subscales by subjects c l a s s i f i e d at each epistemic l e v e l . This w i l l f i r s t be done using subjects' o v e r a l l i d e n t i t y status designation and then again, c a p i t a l i z i n g on the continuous nature of the OM-EIS subscales, by examining the i d e n t i t y status p r o f i l e s of subjects at each epistemic l e v e l . F i n a l l y , because the ego-identity status approach to the adolescent i d e n t i t y formation process has a longer research h i s t o r y than the present epistemic model, i t i s i n s t r u c t i v e to look at how subjects at each ego-identity status i n the present sample were c l a s s i f i e d on the epistemic developmental measure. The f a c t that adopting t h i s a d d i t i o n a l perspective a l s o e n t a i l s taking a s t a t i s t i c a l l y redundant view of the data i s hopefully outweighed by the l i k e l i h o o d that i t w i l l enhance the reader's appreciation of the r e l a t i o n between these two constructs. The r e a l i z a t i o n of epistemic doubt and ego-identity status: Global  and s p e c i f i c hypotheses. To begin at the most general l e v e l , i t was argued e a r l i e r (see chapter 4) that the d e t a i l e d consideration of a l t e r n a t i v e l i f e choices that define the moratorium and achieved statuses ought to require, at a minimum, some appreciation of the person r e l a t i v e nature of a l l knowledge that characterizes the l e v e l 2 and l e v e l 3 epistemic p o s i t i o n s . By contrast, the easy assumption that there i s a sing l e correct answer to a l l of one's i d e n t i t y concerns that characterize i d e n t i t y d i f f u s e d and foreclosed persons ought to re s t upon the l e v e l 0 or 1 epistemic assumption that absolute answers to a l l questions are possible. 119 TABLE 10 Ego-Identity Status By Epistemic Level Epistemic Level Ego-Identity Status R e a l i s t i c Dogmatic Skep t i c a l Rational Diffused N = 19 Foreclosed N = 9 Moratorium N = 15 11 Achieved N = 18 120 As Table 11 i n d i c a t e s , t h i s general p r e d i c t i o n i s strongly supported i n the present sample (X 2(l)=13.68, £ < 0.001, Cohen's Kappa z = 0.51, £ < 0.01). Of those subjects scored as r e a l i s t i c or dogmatic, 75% were a l s o catagorized as i d e n t i t y d i f f u s e d or foreclosed while 76% of those who indicated an appreciation of the the r e l a t i v e nature of the knowing process ( i . e . , s k e p t i c a l or r a t i o n a l ) were a l s o c l a s s i f i e d as being i n e i t h e r the moratorium or achieved i d e n t i t y statuses. The 15 subjects i n the error c e l l s i n Table 11, while of modest s t a t i s t i c a l relevance, do, nevertheless, c o n s t i t u t e grounds for conceptual concern. Their existence i s mitigated somewhat, however, by the f a c t that a l l of the moratorium and achievement status i n d i v i d u a l s who f a l l short of demonstrating a f u l l y c o n s t r u c t i v i s t i c epistemology d i d score at the dogmatic epistemic l e v e l (rather than the r e a l i s t i c ) and a l l but one of the foreclosure or d i f f u s i o n subjects who evidenced a higher than expected l e v e l of epistemic development were scored as s k e p t i c a l (rather than r a t i o n a l ) . In short, those subjects who f a i l e d to conform to the hypothesized r e l a t i o n between epistemic and i d e n t i t y l e v e l s d i d f a l l short of those expectations i n the most minimal ways p o s s i b l e . More s p e c i f i c a l l y , i t was hypothesized that epistemic r e a l i s t s would be scored either as i d e n t i t y d i f f u s i o n s or foreclosures; dogmatists were expected to score as foreclosed; skeptics as i n either the d i f f u s i o n or moritorium statuses; and the r a t i o n a l i s t s as being i n the achieved status. As can be seen from an inspection of Table 10, these hypotheses were supported by 8/8 r e a l i s t s (binomial p r o b a b i l i t y £ < 0.001), 6/21 dogmatists (not s i g n i f i c a n t ) , 17/24 skeptics (p < 0.001), and 6/8 r a t i o n a l i s t s (p < 0.001). I f , f o r the reasons c i t e d above (see section 6.3), the dogmatists are dropped from consideration when 121 TABLE 11 Epistemic Level By Ego-Identity Status Ego-Identity Status Epistemic D i f f u s e d or Moratorium or Level Foreclosed Achieved R e a l i s t i c or Dogmatic 75% 25% N = 28 S k e p t i c a l or Rational 24% 76% N = 33 122 conducting the o v e r a l l t e s t s of these hypotheses, more than three quarters of the subjects show p r e c i s e l y that i d e n t i t y status predicted for them by the epistemic model which, as the reported p r o b a b i l i t i e s a t t e s t , i s very u n l i k e l y to occur on the basis of chance alone. In the remainder of t h i s section, the findings displayed i n Table 10, showing the four i d e n t i t y statuses arrayed against the four epistemic stages, w i l l be d e s c r i p t i v e l y considered i n the a d d i t i o n a l two ways described e a r l i e r . F i r s t , i n l i g h t of e a r l i e r d i f f i c u l t i e s i n uniquely assigning i n d i v i d u a l s to a s i n g l e i d e n t i t y status, Marcia (1980) has suggested that persons might be better viewed as expressing sentiments or e x h i b i t i n g features c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of two or more i d e n t i t y statuses. That i s , rather than d e s c r i b i n g a typology of mutually exclusive styles with which people approach problems r e l a t e d to i d e n t i t y formation, i t has been proposed by i n v e s t i g a t o r s working i n t h i s f i e l d that the i d e n t i t y status scheme might better be viewed as a framework for d e s c r i b i n g i n t e r r e l a t e d classes of thoughts and interpersonal behaviours. In t h i s manner, i n d i v i d u a l s might be best characterized, not by a s i n g l e i d e n t i t y status, but by the r e l a t i v e proportion of t h e i r responses and behaviours which are r e f l e c t i v e of concerns unique to each i d e n t i t y status. Following t h i s reasoning and i n an e f f o r t to shed a d d i t i o n a l l i g h t upon the underlap and overlap between these two d e s c r i p t i v e systems, the average i d e n t i t y status p r o f i l e c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of subjects at each epistemic stage was examined. F i n a l l y , the implications of the present data for the i d e n t i t y status approach to the adolescent i d e n t i t y formation process w i l l be investigated by focussing on each i d e n t i t y status i n turn and observing where subjects c l a s s i f i e d i n that status f a l l within the epistemic stage model. The reader should 123 be aware that the analyses to be reported upon below were undertaken purely for exploratory purposes. The use of muliple a p r i o r i comparissons i n the f i r s t set of analyses described below, the use of the Newman-Keuls post-hoc procedure i n the second, and the f a c t that the two analyses represent two passes through the same data a l l contribute to an elevation of the experiment-wise error r a t e above the conservative 0.05 l e v e l . While such an increased experiment-wise error r a t e i s acceptable i n the present circumstances, given the exploratory nature of the analyses to be reported upon below, the r e s u l t s should be viewed p r i m a r i l y as an i l l u s t r a t i v e guide to future research. Ego-identity status within each epistemic l e v e l . As described e a r l i e r , Marcia (1966) and Leiper (1981) have argued that young persons' solutions to the problems of i d e n t i t y formation are best viewed as a series of continuous movements through the various i d e n t i t y statuses. Adams' i d e n t i t y status scales, as employed i n t h i s study, are e s p e c i a l l y amenable to t h i s sort of more continuous treatment of the issue of i d e n t i t y status membership. In the s e r v i c e of better understanding the manner i n which young persons at each epistemic stage approach the task of i d e n t i t y formation and commitment, standardized i d e n t i t y status scale score p r o f i l e s were created for a l l subjects. This was accomplished by converting subjects' scores on each i d e n t i t y status scale to standard score form using the mean and standard deviation of the e n t i r e sample of 61 subjects on each i d e n t i t y status scale. These standard scores were then averaged across subjects within each epistemic l e v e l to produce an average or prototypic i d e n t i t y status p r o f i l e for each epistemic l e v e l . Planned comparisons were conducted to t e s t several s p e c i f i c expectations regarding the unique patterning of i d e n t i t y r e l a t e d 124 sentiments or b e l i e f s held by representatives of each epistemic l e v e l . Figure 1 shows these average p r o f i l e s f o r each epistemic l e v e l based on standardized scale scores and Table 12 contains the means for each group on each status scale. As was predicted, s k e p t i c a l l y r e l a t i v i s e d subjects ( l e v e l 2) scored s i g n i f i c a n t l y higher on the moratorium scale (t(57)=2.07, £ < 0.05) than d i d subjects at a l l the other epistemic l e v e l s combined. Also consistent with e a r l i e r p r e d i c t i o n s , r a t i o n a l i s t s ( l e v e l 3) scored higher on the i d e n t i t y achievement scale than d i d subjects at other epistemic l e v e l s (t(57)= 2.31, £ < 0.05). F i n a l l y , as expected, r e a l i s t i c and dogmatic young people (epistemic l e v e l s 0 and 1) were i n d i s t i n g u i s h a b l e i n t h e i r preferences for items on the d i f f u s i o n and foreclosure scales and, over the two scales, p r e f e r r e d such items to a s i g n i f i c a n t l y greater extent than d i d e p i s t e m i c a l l y r e l a t i v i s e d skeptics or r a t i o n a l i s t s ( l e v e l s 2 or 3) (t(57)=2.07, £ < 0.05). This d i f f e r e n c e i s p r i m a r i l y due to d i f f e r e n c e s i n foreclosure scale scores ( l e v e l s 0 and 1 vs l e v e l s 2 and 3, t(57)=-4.24, £ <0.001). While the d i f f e r e n c e s among average scores on the d i f f u s i o n scale are i n the predicted d i r e c t i o n (see Figure 1), they are of i n s u f f i c i e n t magnitude to reach s i g n i f i c a n c e . This may well be a f u n c t i o n of the present sample being composed of high school students who, despite being c o g n i t i v e l y capable of maturely considering i d e n t i t y i ssues, have yet to encounter those s o c i e t a l pressures commonly brought to bear on high school graduates to s e r i o u s l y consider t h e i r own future. As a consequence, the i d e n t i t y d i f f u s e d sentiment of "not having thought about i t yet" contained i n the bulk of the OM-EIS d i f f u s i o n scale items i s l i k e l y to lead to t h e i r 125 TABLE 12 Epistemic Level By Ego-Identity Status Scale Scores* Ego-Identity Status Scale Scores Epistemic Level Foreclosed Diffused Moratorium Achieved R e a l i s t i c 40.2a 51.0 a 54.7 55.9a N = 9 (0.973) (0.345) (-0.229) (0.474) Dogmatic 33.9^ 48.4a 53.5 61.8 N = 20 (0.332) (0.030) (-0.362) (0.113) Skeptical 24.8^ 47.3 a 59.5 59.2 N = 24 (-0.586) (-0.096) (0.302) • (-0.146) Rational 29.0 C 46.6a 59.1 67.5 b K = 8 (-0.164) (-0.176) (0.261) (0.689) Means 30.6 48.1 56.8 60.6 * Standardized scores based upon identity status means are reported i n parentheses. Note: Within columns entries bearing different superscripts ( i . e . , a , b , or c) are s i g n i f i c a n t l y different at the 0.05 level based upon post-hoc testing. FIGURE 1 Standardized Ego Identity Scores for each Epistemic Level • Foreclosed E3 Diffused M Moratorium E3 Achieved Realistic Dogmatic Epistemic Level Isf P I H mm w Skeptical Rational Epistemic Level 127 being endorsed by a cross-section of young people at each epistemic l e v e l . Advancing the i n v e s t i g a t i o n of i d e n t i t y status p r o f i l e s a step further, the r e l a t i v e l e v e l of agreement with items on the i d e n t i t y scales may be examined. This provides another perspective on how young people at each epistemic stage view the issue of i d e n t i t y . The expectation i s that the p r e f e r e n t i a l ordering of the i d e n t i t y scales should be d i f f e r e n t at each epistemic l e v e l i n ways which r e f l e c t how young people at each stage approach problems of c e r t a i n t y and commitment. Because of the r e l a t i v e l y small numbers of subjects found i n the present sample to be at the r e a l i s t i c and s k e p t i c a l epistemic l e v e l s (0 or 3) i t was decided to c o l l a p s e the r e a l i s t i c and dogmatic catagories ( l e v e l s 0 and 1) and the s k e p t i c a l and r a t i o n a l catagories ( l e v e l s 2 and 3) and to proceed with a comparison between young people within pre- and p o s t - r e l a t i v i s e d epistemic postures. A 2(epistemic l e v e l ) by 4 ( i d e n t i t y s tatus)analysis of variance was conducted with the standardized scale scores for the four i d e n t i t y statuses being treated as within-subject repeated measures (see bracketed standardized scores i n Table 12). The main e f f e c t f o r epistemic l e v e l was not s i g n i f i c a n t (F(l,59)= 0.97). The main e f f e c t for i d e n t i t y was a l s o non-significant, automatically, due t h i s time to the standardization of the i d e n t i t y s c a l e s . The epistemic l e v e l by i d e n t i t y i n t e r a c t i o n was, however, s i g n i f i c a n t (F(3,177)= 8.06, £ < 0.001). What may be observed i n t h i s i n t e r a c t i o n (see Table 13 and Figure 2) i s that the p r e f e r e n t i a l ordering of the i d e n t i t y status scales i s reversed for r e l a t i v i s e d compared to the n o n - r e l a t i v i s e d subjects. Analysis of the simple main e f f e c t s of r e l a t i v e i d e n t i t y 128 TABLE 13 Epistemic Level By Standardized Ego-Identity Status Scale Scores Ego-Identity Status Scale Scores Foreclosed Diffused Moratorium Achieved Rea l i s t i c or Dogmatic N = 29 0.5311 0.128c -0.321° -0.069= Skeptical or Rational N = 32 -0.481a -0.116 0.292b 0.063 * Ego-Identity scores were standardized using the mean and standard deviation for each identity status scale, actual means for each scale are shown i n table 12. Note: Within rows entries bearing different superscripts (i.e., a , b , or c ) are s i g n i f i c a n t l y different at the 0.05 level based upon post-hoc testing. 129 c a> o O) UJ •o N "2 W T3 C m to 01 a> w o o CO _o nJ u CO -0.4 -FIGURE 2 Epistemic Level By Ego Identity Status Interaction • Foreclosed E3 Diffused M Moratorium 0 Achieved Realistic or Dogmatic Skeptical or Rational Epistemic Level 130 scale scores at each epistemic l e v e l support the existence of the trend seen i n Figure 2. (At l e v e l s 0 and 1, F(3,177)= 4.43, £ < 0.01, at le v e l s 2 and 3, F(3,177)= 3.64, £ < 0.05). R e a l i s t i c and dogmatic subjects (epistemic l e v e l s 0 and 1) preferred foreclosure items to a l l other kinds of items (post hoc t e s t s : foreclosure vs moratorium, £ < 0.01 Newman-Keuls, foreclosure vs achieved, £ < 0.05 Newman-Keuls, and foreclosure vs d i f f u s i o n , £ < 0.01, Newman-Keuls). The p r e f e r e n t i a l ordering suggested by these r e s u l t s i s foreclosure, d i f f u s s i o n , achievement, and moratorium. The order suggested by the responses of skep t i c a l and r a t i o n a l subjects (epistemic l e v e l s 2 and 3) i s the reverse of t h i s and i s supported by the s i g n i f i c a n t l y greater preference for moratorium over foreclosure scale items (post hoc t e s t , £ < 0.05 Newman-Keuls). 130 a The range of epistemic l e v e l s found within each ego-identity  status. As proposed, i n the remainder of t h i s section the r e l a t i o n s between epistemic l e v e l and ego-identity status w i l l be examined again but t h i s time from the perspective of each of the four i d e n t i t y statuses. As may be seen i n the second row of Table 10, a l l of those young people who scored as foreclosed were a l s o categorized e i t h e r as epistemic r e a l i s t s ( l e v e l 0) or dogmatists ( l e v e l 1). The common feature of both of these epistemic postures i s the b e l i e f that some ( l e v e l 1) or a l l ( l e v e l 0) of what one knows i s a d i r e c t byproduct of uninterpreted raw experience. In i d e n t i t y formation terms t h i s t r a n s l a t e s to a b e l i e f that a l l of l i f e ' s important questions have d e f i n i t e answers, some of which are already known by one's parents or others and that one need only d i s c e r n who i t i s that i s i n possession of these right-minded conclusions. In contrast to the f o r e c l o s e d subjects, the l i o n ' s share (73%) of those subjects found i n the moratorium status were scored as skeptics (epistemic l e v e l 2). The moratorium status' d e f i n i t i o n a l sense of c r i s i s and attendant search for appropriate grounds for commitment obviously p a r a l l e l s the skeptic's r e l a t i v i s t i c appreciation that they lack any e x t e r n a l l y constituted grounds f o r deciding who or what i s r i g h t . The d i s t r i b u t i o n of i d e n t i t y d i f f u s e subjects across the top row of Table 10 i s consistent with several past suggestions (Marcia, 1966, Orlofsky et a l . , 1973, and Podd, 1972) that there may be more than one type of i d e n t i t y d i f f u s i o n . That the majority (63%) of the i d e n t i t y d i f f u s e d subjects were found at the r e a l i s t i c and dogmatic epistemic 131 l e v e l s (0 and 1) as expected. A c o r r e l a r y to the l e v e l 0-1 i d e n t i t y foreclosed subjects' b e l i e f that they know what i s r i g h t f o r them, i s the e p i s t e m i c a l l y equivalent b e l i e f that there i s no need to become exercised about matters of i d e n t i t y formation f o r the reason that concrete answers to such problems are forthcoming. The i d e n t i t y d i f f u s e d subjects who scored as epistemic skeptics may be assumed to be d i f f u s i o n s of a d i f f e r e n t s o r t . In contrast to t h e i r l e v e l 1 counterparts, l e v e l 2 subjects have adopted an epistemic stance that includes an appreciation of the person-relative nature of knowledge. As discussed e a r l i e r (see chapter 4), young people may react to t h i s epistemic i n s i g h t by working towards goals and commitments that are chosen on other than r a t i o n a l grounds, and thus appear either i n the moratorium or achieved statuses, or, conversely, may s k e p t i c a l l y decide that they lack the grounds to make any commitments at a l l . Such sk e p t i c a l i d e n t i t y d i f f u s e d young people may thus e x h i b i t the sort of commitment to not making any commitments (Broughton, 1978) that has been v a r i o u s l y described as alienated achievement (Orlofsy et a l . , 1973) and p o s t - c r i s i s d i f f u s i o n (Podd, 1972). Two a d d i t i o n a l findings are consistent with t h i s d i v e r s i f i e d account of the d i f f u s e d status. F i r s t , only one r a t i o n a l ( l e v e l 3) subject was found to be i n the d i f f u s i o n status. C l e a r l y the a b i l i t y to proceed on r a t i o n a l grounds i n matters of f a c t and b e l i e f also provides such young persons with the warrant to make those i d e n t i t y relevant choices and commitments which excludes them from the ranks of i d e n t i t y d i f f u s i o n . Further evidence f o r t h i s d i f f e r e n t i a t e d account of the d i f f u s i o n status i s the f i n d i n g that when the 8 i d e n t i t y scales (4 statuses i n each of the i d e o l o g i c a l and interpersonal domains) were fa c t o r analysed, 132 to confirm that scales intended to tap the same statuses loaded on the same f a c t o r , only the d i f f u s i o n scale items f a i l e d to define t h e i r own f a c t o r . Instead, the i d e o l o g i c a l d i f f u s i o n scale loaded strongly on the for e c l o s u r e factor (see Table 3) while the interpersonal d i f f u s i o n scale loaded with approximately equal weight on both the foreclosure and moratorium f a c t o r s . This factor structure would not be e a s i l y i n t e r p r e t a b l e were i t not for the a d d i t i o n a l i n s i g h t s provided by knowledge of subjects' epistemic stage scores. What t h i s indicates i s that the d i f f u s i o n scale items, which r e f l e c t a lack of commitment i n any i d e n t i t y relevent area, are endorsed f o r d i f f e r e n t reasons, both by those who beli e v e that they w i l l discover what i s best f o r them when the need a r i s e s ( i . e . , realism and dogmatism) as well as by more ep i s t e m i c a l l y sophisticated skeptics ( i . e . , l e v e l 2) who are equally unprepared to make i d e n t i t y choices, but on the d i f f e r e n t grounds that they are epis t e m i c a l l y unequipped to do so. As the l a s t row of table 10 i n d i c a t e s , there are young people at a l l three p o s t - r e a l i s t i c epistemic stages ( i . e . , l e v e l s 1, 2, and 3) who were a l s o found i n the i d e n t i t y achieved status. The f a c t that these groups of i d e n t i t y achievers represent a small subset of an already small sample of young people means that post-hoc comparisons among them w i l l be u n l i k e l y to y i e l d s i g n i f i c a n t r e s u l t s and d i d not i n the present sample. What the range of epistemic stage scores within the achieved status may suggest, however, i s that young people at each epistemic l e v e l can endorse the same achievement scale items for a v a r i e t y of d i f f e r e n t reasons. It i s poss i b l e that those achievers who scored as dogmatists are proceding under the assumption that they have found what i s a b solutely r i g h t f o r them. Their being c l a s s i f i e d as achieved rather 133 than foreclosed, where such e x t e r n a l l y focussed i n d i v i d u a l s are r o u t i n e l y scored i n the Marcia Interview Procedure, may be r e l a t e d here to method variance introduced by the use of a paper-and-pencil procedure for indexing i d e n t i t y status. I t i s l i k e l y that the r e s u l t s of a standard Marcian Interview would reveal the e x t e r n a l l y guided nature of the dogmatists' search for d i r e c t i o n . Consistent with t h i s c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n of those subjects j o i n t l y categorized as i d e n t i t y achieved and dogmatic i s the tendency (non-significant due to the small sample size) for the dogmatic i d e n t i t y achievers to score higher on the foreclosure scale (32.0) than either the skeptical ( l e v e l 2) or the r a t i o n a l ( l e v e l 3) achievers (26.0 and 29.2). Adams' i d e n t i t y questionnaire (OM-EIS) f a i l s to i d e n t i f y young people who are foreclosed upon values or l i f e s t y l e s derived from persons other than t h e i r parents. It i s p o s s i b l e that the 5 dogmatic ( l e v e l 1), i d e n t i t y achieved young people i n the present sample are a c t u a l l y foreclosures of t h i s sort, though t h i s i s somewhat speculative and must await confirmation using a f u l l Marcian i d e n t i t y interview. Those subjects i n the i d e n t i t y achieved status who were a l s o c l a s s i f i e d as skeptics (epistemic l e v e l 2) more c l o s e l y f i t the standard d e f i n i t i o n of the i d e n t i t y achieved i n d i v i d u a l as one who has experienced and passed through an i d e n t i t y c r i s i s . The i m p l i c a t i o n of t h e i r being found to view matters of f a c t and t r u t h i n a r e l a t i v i s e d manner i s that they may have s k e p t i c a l l y made t h e i r i d e n t i t y commitments on i d i o s y n c r a t i c , non-rational grounds. If t h i s f i n d i n g i s r e p l i c a b l e i n a larger sample, i t could help to account for the perplexing r e s u l t s of Marcia's l o n g i t u d i n a l follow-up of h i s o r i g i n a l i d e n t i t y status sample (1976) i n which a number of subjects who had been o r i g i n a l l y 134 c l a s s i f i e d as i d e n t i t y achieved were found, on follow-up 6 years l a t e r , to be i n the foreclosed status. The sorts of non-rational r e s o l u t i o n s t r a t e g i e s espoused by s k e p t i c a l epistemic r e l a t i v i s t s represent ways of s a t i s f y i n g the o b l i g a t i o n to make c e r t a i n l i f e commitments within a s k e p t i c a l perspective without a c t u a l l y s e t t l i n g upon ways of proceeding r a t i o n a l l y i n an uncertain world. By these l i g h t s , i t would not be s u r p r i s i n g , given that dogmatism and skepticism are taken to occupy opposite sides of the same r e l a t i v i s e d epistemic coin, to f i n d that at some l a t e r date a p o r t i o n of such s k e p t i c a l i d e n t i t y achievers had adopted, or foreclosed upon, dogmatic st r a t e g i e s for maintaining c e r t a i n t y and warranting t h e i r career and other l i f e choices. F i n a l l y , those subjects j o i n t l y c l a s s i f i e d as epistemic r a t i o n a l i s t s ( l e v e l 3) and as being i n the achieved i d e n t i t y status, represent prototypic i d e n t i t y achievers as defined within the i d e n t i t y status typology i n that they have experienced c r i s e s of i d e n t i t y and epistemic c e r t a i n t y and have passed through them, not by dismissing them but by making commitments despite them. The expectation i s that such i n d i v i d u a l s would very l i k e l y continue to be found i n the i d e n t i t y achieved status i f tested at a future date. Summary of Results Before turning to the task of drawing out the conclusions to which the preceeding findings lead, a b r i e f summary of the r e s u l t s i s i n order. F i r s t , with regard to the proposed epistemic stage model, i t was found, as expected, that epistemic l e v e l was r e l a t e d to age, with subjects i n higher grades tending a l s o to be found at higher epistemic 135 l e v e l s . Second, the model's performance was evaluated against the standard structure, sequence, and hierarchy c r i t e r i a demanded of s t r i c t stage models. In so far as i t i s poss i b l e to evalute these c r i t e r i a within the context of a c r o s s - s e c t i o n a l study, the epistemic model proposed here d i d receive strong support. With t h i s evidence i n hand i t was then po s s i b l e to move on to a consideration of the r e l a t i o n between each subject's epistemic l e v e l and t h e i r performance on other measures of cogn i t i v e development. In t h i s context, i t was f i r s t demonstrated that, as predicted, there was a strong p o s i t i v e c o r r e l a t i o n between co g n i t i v e and epistemic l e v e l and that t h i s c o r r e l a t i o n remained strong even when the e f f e c t s of age were p a r t i a l l e d out. More s p e c i f i c a l l y , c l e a r support was found f o r the key expectation that, within measurement error, a l l subjects who scored as formal operational a l s o evidenced a stage of epistemic function beyond simple realism. In addition, when subjects who scored as epistemic dogmatists were removed from the analysis on procedural grounds, the co-occurrence of formal operational modes of thought and p o s t - r e a l i s t i c epistemic stances was even c l e a r e r . With the connection between cognitive development and epistemic l e v e l established i t was po s s i b l e to move on to a f i n a l set of considerations regarding the predicted r e l a t i o n of these constructs to the ego-identity formation process. Consistent with the findings of other studies, no s i g n i f i c a n t r e l a t i o n was expected or found between grade and ego-identity status and the c o r r e l a t i o n between age and i d e n t i t y status was not strong. What was hypothesized and generally supported by the data was that both epistemic r e a l i s t s and dogmatists, by v i r t u e of t h e i r b e l i e f that 136 c e r t a i n knowledge i s a necessary p r e r e q u i s i t e for making decisions, would be over-represented i n the ranks of the i d e n t i t y d i f f u s i o n s and foreclosures. S i m i l a r l y , a d d i t i o n a l support was found for the expectation that epistemic skeptics and r a t i o n a l i s t s would score i n the moratorium or achieved i d e n t i t y statuses. Discounting the dogmatists who, for reasons elaborated above, were most l i k e l y to be m i s c l a s s i f i e d , over three quarters of the subjects i n the present sample were scored within the i d e n t i t y status or statuses predicted for them on the basis of t h e i r epistemic l e v e l . A l l of the epistemic r e a l i s t s were scored either as i d e n t i t y d i f f u s e d or foreclosed while 71% of the epistemic skeptics were scored as either i d e n t i t y d i f f u s e d or i n the moratorium status. F i n a l l y , 75% ( a l l but 2) of the epistemic r a t i o n a l i s t s were scored within the i d e n t i t y achieved status. It i s c l e a r from these r e s u l t s that there are both substantial areas of overlap and i n t r i g u i n g areas of underlap between the ego-i d e n t i t y status account of the adolescent i d e n t i t y formation process and the account of these and other r e l a t e d issues provided by the epistemic developmental model developed i n t h i s t h e s i s . In the b r i e f d i s c u s s i o n section which follows the implications and l i m i t a t i o n s of these empirical f i n d i n g s w i l l be drawn out and d i r e c t i o n s for future research w i l l be charted. 137 CHAPTER 7: DISCUSSION In t h i s f i n a l chapter, conclusions a r i s i n g from the r e s u l t s w i l l be discussed, some l i m i t a t i o n s of the empirical portion of t h i s thesis w i l l be addressed, and the broader implications and future research d i r e c t i o n s suggested by these findings are considered. The epistemic model that was proposed and tested i n t h i s study received support of several s o r t s . F i r s t i t i s c l e a r that, on the basis of t h e i r responses to the Epistemic Doubt Interview, subjects may be r e l i a b l y and exhaustively c l a s s i f i e d as holding to one of the four t a c i t epistemic postures o u t l i n e d i n the model. It i s also c l e a r that, at least i n so f a r as may be demonstrated with c r o s s - s e c t i o n a l data, the l e v e l s within the proposed model conform to the usual c r i t e r i a of a s t r i c t developmental stage theory. Of perhaps greater relevance, i n l i g h t of the conceptual goals of t h i s study, i s the f i n d i n g that the emergence of generic doubt does coincide, as predicted, with the i n i t i a l achievement of formal operational modes of thought. This r e s u l t lends credence to the claim that both formal operations and epistemic doubt represent a l t e r n a t i v e expressions of the same underlying c o g n i t i v e - s t r u c t u r a l transformations. This demonstration helps to elaborate our understanding of the nature of formal operations i n novel and p o t e n t i a l l y informative ways. The onset of formal operations has commonly been understood as an unremittingly p o s i t i v e achievement. The r e s u l t s of t h i s study, however, suggest that t h i s s t r u c t u r a l s h i f t a lso c a r r i e s with i t a range of u n s e t t l i n g consequences, epistemic doubt being c e n t r a l among them. More s p e c i f i c a l l y , what these r e s u l t s suggest i s that p r i o r to the onset of formal operational thought young people maintain a r e a l i s t i c epistemic 138 p o s i t i o n with regards to c e r t a i n t y and t r u t h and c o n f i d e n t l y believe that o b j e c t i v e knowledge i s p o t e n t i a l l y a v a i l a b l e to a l l . With the onset of formal operational thought, however, young people begin to r e a l i z e that knowledge i s an i n t e r p r e t i v e achievement rather than an automatic byproduct of experience with o b j e c t i v e r e a l i t y . As a n t i c i p a t e d , t h i s c o n t r u c t i v i s t i c i n s i g h t appears to p r e c i p i t a t e a turn to either dogmatic, s k e p t i c a l , or r a t i o n a l s t r a t e g i e s for coping with epistemic doubt. While f i n a l determination of the developmental ordering of these a l t e r n a t i v e response s t r a t e g i e s awaits a l o n g i t u d i n a l i n v e s t i g a t i o n , the r e s u l t s of the present study c l e a r l y i n d i c a t e that young people i n i t i a l l y respond to epistemic uncertainty either by adopting a s k e p t i c a l stance or by defensively r e t r e a t i n g into a dogmatic posture. Only a f t e r the implications of emerging epistemic doubt have been f u l l y r e a l i z e d , and a skeptical stance adopted, does i t appear p o s s i b l e for adolescents to consider a l t e r n a t i v e , r a t i o n a l , d e c i s i o n making s t r a t e g i e s . As an expansion of the notion of formal operations, the proposed epistemic model has the advantage of introducing 3 ordered l e v e l s of funtioning i n the place of a si n g l e monolithic achievement. Previous attempts to r e l a t e the i d e n t i t y formation process to the simple presence or absence of formal operational thought have been l a r g e l y unimpressive (see chapter 4). Unpacking the category of formal operations i n t o a better d i f f e r e n t i a t e d set of epistemic l e v e l s , as was accomplished i n t h i s t h e s i s , made pos s i b l e a more d e t a i l e d exploration of the connections between cogni t i v e development and i d e n t i t y formation. 139 As the r e s u l t s reported upon i n section 6.7 c l e a r l y i n d i c a t e , the epistemic developmental model does i n f a c t map onto the i d e n t i t y status scheme, with the majority of predicted points of overlap c l e a r l y demonstrated i n t h i s study. As predicted, the r e s u l t s i n d i c a t e d that subjects scored as epistemic r e a l i s t s , and who believe that absolute c e r t a i n t y i s or w i l l be a t t a i n a b l e , do indeed generalize that b e l i e f to matters of i d e n t i t y and were consequently scored either as i d e n t i t y d i f f u s e d or foreclosed. S i m i l a r l y , epistemic sceptics, who by t h e i r responses on the Epistemic Doubt Interview demonstrated a lack of confidence i n the prospect of ever knowing anything with c e r t a i n t y , expressed s i m i l a r sentiments through t h e i r responses to the OM-EIS and were v i r t u a l l y a l l c l a s s i f i e d either as i d e n t i t y d i f f u s e d or i n the moratorium status. The epistemic r a t i o n a l i s t s , characterized by t h e i r b e l i e f that absolute c e r t a i n t y need not be a necessary component of r a t i o n a l d e c i s i o n making, were almost e x c l u s i v e l y found to a l s o be i n the i d e n t i t y achieved status i n d i c a t i n g that they had s u c c e s s f u l l y applied t h e i r epistemic i n s i g h t to matters of i d e n t i t y . The only p r e d i c t i o n that was le s s than completely borne out concerned the epistemic dogmatists and the expectation that they would a l l be scored as i d e n t i t y foreclosures. While dogmatists were i n f a c t the only epistemic n o n - r e a l i s t s to score as foreclosed, they were a l s o represented i n each of the other three i d e n t i t y statuses. Although p a r t i a l l y explained by the f a c t that, by i t s very nature, dogmatism i s understood to be a kind of r e t r e a t i n t o realism and as a consequence can not always be r e l i a b l y d istinguished from t h i s e a r l i e r epistemic posture, t h i s f i n d i n g c l e a r l y i ndicates a need for a more thorough 140 e x p l i c a t i o n of the thought processes of such dogmatically defended i n d i v i d u a l s . What i s suggested by the demonstrated areas of overlap between these two explanatory models i s that the meaning of the various i d e n t i t y statuses proposed by Marcia and others could be c l a r i f i e d further i f the same subjects were further subdivided by epistemic l e v e l . Before such a step i s taken, however, i t would be useful to f i r s t examine more of the r e a l world correlates of young persons' epistemic developmental l e v e l . Before returning to t h i s and other implications of t h i s study, however, several l i m i t a t i o n s of the present study must be addressed. Limitations Several possible l i m i t a t i o n s of the empirical portion of t h i s study w i l l be dealt with i n turn. These include the p o t e n t i a l confound of both c o g n i t i v e and epistemic l e v e l with general i n t e l l i g e n c e or verbal fluency, the r e s t r i c t e d (at least i n l i f e - s p a n terms) age range of the present sample, and the v a l i d i t y of the Epistemic Doubt Interview procedure. The r e l a t i o n between i n t e l l i g e n c e , as generally conceived of within the psychometric t r a d i t i o n of IQ t e s t i n g , and c o g n i t i v e developmental l e v e l , as understood by s t r u c t u r a l i s t s such as Piaget, i s complex and perhaps even incommensurate (Kuhn, 1970). S t i l l , i t i s claimed by some that much of what those working i n the Piagetian developmental t r a d i t i o n would ascribe to advances i n co g n i t i v e developmental l e v e l and, by extension, to epistemic l e v e l , are merely r e f l e c t i o n s of i n d i v i d u a l d i f f e r e n c e s i n i n t e l l e c t u a l l e v e l or verbal fluency. While i t i s a goal of future i n v e s t i g a t i o n s to i n v e s t i g a t e and c o n t r o l f or t h i s r e l a t i o n d i r e c t l y , at least one f i n d i n g serves to mitigate the possible relevance 141 of i n t e l l i g e n c e to the findings of the present study. A rough accounting of the r e l a t i v e lengths of the Epistemic Doubt Interview protocols for subjects scored at each epistemic l e v e l was generated and the r e s u l t i n d i c a t e s that there was no systematic tendency for subjects at one epistemic l e v e l to simply have more to say than subjects at any other l e v e l . To the extent that verbal fluency can be taken as an i n d i r e c t i n d i c a t o r of general i n t e l l i g e n c e , there i s , then, no i n d i c a t i o n i n the present data of a tendency for subjects at one epistemic l e v e l to be any more psychometrically able than subjects at any other. A second p o t e n t i a l l i m i t a t i o n of the present r e s u l t s a l s o r e l a t e s to the nature of the subject population studied. While there were compelling reasons for s e l e c t i n g an e x c l u s i v e l y high school aged sample, the course of epistemic development, as i t i s understood here, i s thought to extend both back in t o childhood and forward into adulthood. The study sample does, therefore, represent a s e r i o u s l y truncated s l i c e of the l i f e - c o u r s e . Certain p o t e n t i a l c r i t i c s who have focussed t h e i r a t t e n t i o n upon i d e n t i t y formation i n l a t e adolescence and e a r l y adulthood w i l l consequently think that the present sample i s too young, while others, p r i m a r i l y i n t e r e s t e d i n the f i r s t emergence of epistemic concerns w i l l judge i t to be too o l d . The d e c i s i o n to focus upon the age group studied here does have i t s own r a t i o n a l e , however. In the service of conducting the c l e a r e s t p o s s i b l e test of the s t r u c t u r a l l y based predictions advanced i n t h i s t h e s i s , only those subjects who could be c l e a r l y c l a s s i f i e d as concrete or formal operational were included i n the empirical portion of the study. It would be i n s t r u c t i v e , however, to administer the Epistemic Doubt Interview to a group of s t i l l younger, more t y p i c a l , concrete 142 operational subjects. This would have the p o t e n t i a l advantage of more c l e a r l y d i s t i n g u i s h i n g epistemic r e a l i s t s from defended epistemic dogmatists and would a i d i n s o r t i n g out the range of epistemic responses shown by subjects scored as i d e n t i t y f o r e c l o s u r e s . Other evidence suggests that i t would be equally i n s t r u c t i v e to t e s t s t i l l older subjects. Despite the present evidence i n d i c a t i n g that epistemic development and i t s i d e n t i t y - r e l e v a n t implications have roots at e a r l i e r ages than had previously been a n t i c i p a t e d , i t i s equally clear that neither epistemic development nor the i d e n t i t y formation process are complete by the end of the high school years. While i t remains to be seen whether the Epistemic Doubt Interview would reveal more epistemic skeptics or r a t i o n a l i s t s beyond the high school years, i t may a l s o be that the d i f f e r i n g s o c i o - c u l t u r a l circumstances of college aged, as opposed to high school aged, young people could have a strong, p o t e n t i a l l y regressive, e f f e c t on such young peoples' epistemic reasoning. Perry's model assumes that young people enter the c o l l e g e years i n either a d u a l i s t i c ( r e a l i s t i c ) epistemic stance or having r e c e n t l y abandoned one. The model advanced and tested i n t h i s t h e s i s , by contrast, i n d i c a t e s that young people may leave such an e p i s t e m i c a l l y r e a l i s t i c posture behind i n t h e i r junior high school years and adopt, at l e a s t a rudimentary, e p i s t e m i c a l l y r a t i o n a l p o s i t i o n p r i o r to leaving high school. This suggests that what Perry and others (Kitchener and King, 1981) may be tracking as they mark college students movement through p o s i t i o n s of epistemic dogmatism and skepticism ( r e l a t i v i s m ) i s a c t u a l l y the students' second pass through those developmental l e v e l s . High school students who have r e a l i z e d that a r a t i o n a l approach enables them 143 to proceed without absolute c e r t a i n t y , may be forced back to e a r l i e r dogmatic or s k e p t i c a l p o s i t i o n s when confronted with the paradigm d i f f e r e n c e s and disagreements which are c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of academic ra t i o n a l i s m . A study of older, college aged youth, would help to c l a r i f y the nature of t h i s point but a l o n g i t u d i n a l study which follows young people through the high school and c o l l e g e years i s necessary to resolve i t . F i n a l l y , r e l a t e d to t h i s issue of the epistemic f a c i l i t y of high school students, i s the question of why the present study succeeded i n f i n d i n g a l l epistemic l e v e l s represented at the high school l e v e l when others have not. Beyond the f a c t that few other studies have even attempted to f i n d evidence of p o s t - r e a l i s t i c epistemic development i n the high school years, the method used i n the Epistemic Doubt Interview turned upon the use of issues which were of p a r t i c u l a r relevance to high school aged subjects. Whenever one attempts to address the question of c e r t a i n t y regarding a p a r t i c u l a r issue, the questions one asks have relevance only to the extent that they focus upon issues that are l i v e , rather than dead (James, 1958) for that i n d i v i d u a l . C l e a r l y the i d e a l way to accomplish t h i s would be to f u l l y i p s i t i z e the epistemic interview procedure by asking each subject questions about d i s t i n c t events i n t h e i r personal l i v e s . As an approximation to t h i s l o g i s t i c a l l y unobtainable i d e a l , issues were included i n the Epistemic Doubt Interview on the basis of t h e i r p o t e n t i a l relevance and f a m i l i a r i t y to the high school subjects' studied. At l e a s t i n part, the f a c t that t h i s study i d e n t i f i e d a large number of p o s t - r e a l i s t i c thinkers within a high school population can be l a i d at the door of t h i s procedural change. This suggests that the form of the Epistemic Doubt Interview should be 144 retained i n future studies but that the issues addressed within i t ought to be changed where necessary so that they remain t o p i c a l for the subjects being questioned. Future Di r e c t i o n s With these l i m i t a t i o n s i n mind, a t t e n t i o n i s now d i r e c t e d to the implications of t h i s study for future conceptual and empirical work i n the domain of adolescent s o c i a l - c o g n i t i v e adaptation. This w i l l begin with a b r i e f d i s c u s s i o n of the l i k e l y place of the i d e n t i t y formation process within the larger context of epistemic development and closes by redeeming the prospect that adolescence must s t i l l be considered a d i s t i n c t period of the l i f e - s p a n worthy of s p e c i a l empirical a t t e n t i o n . The attempt, i n t h i s t h e s i s , to r e l a t e epistemic development and the ego-identity formation process was driven by two r e l a t e d agendas. The f i r s t was to e s t a b l i s h epistemic development as a further expression of the same co g n i t i v e s t r u c t u r a l s h i f t already understood to underpin the movement from concrete to formal operational modes of thought. This was done i n order to provide a bridge by which c o g n i t i v e development might be shown to have relevance for the ego-identity formation process. The r e s u l t s of the empirical portion of t h i s thesis have c l e a r l y shown that epistemic l e v e l and not the simple presence or absence of formal operational thought i s the appropriate surface manifestation of c o g n i t i v e s t r u c t u r a l advancement to r e l a t e to ego-identity status. The purpose of t h i s , however, has not been to place epistemological development p r i o r to i d e n t i t y formation, nor has i t been to put epistemic concerns forward as mediating v a r i a b l e s between i d e n t i t y formation and other more general benchmarks of cog n i t i v e advancement ( i . e . , formal operations). The purpose has been, rather, to better 145 locate adolescents' questioning and concerns about matters of t h e i r personal futures i n the broader context of how such young people approach matters of choice and c e r t a i n t y more generally. This broader context includes, but i s i n no way exhausted by, concerns over ones occupational or interpersonal future. The need for such an expanded focus has already been recognized by i d e n t i t y t h e o r i s t s such as Grotevant (Grotevant, Thorbecke, and Meyer, 1982) and Adams (Bennion and Adams, 1986). It i s r e f l e c t e d i n the recent elaboration of what are considered as issues of relevance for i d e n t i t y development. The e f f e c t of t h i s expansion, while i n some sense appropriate, has been to obscure why i t i s that measures which inquire i n t o r e l i g i o u s , p h i l o s o p h i c a l , and interpersonal concerns ought to be considered to be measures of i d e n t i t y at a l l . The a l t e r n a t i v e being proposed here, which involves focusing upon epistemic development i n a l l of i t s content domains, inc l u d i n g issues of relevance for the i d e n t i t y formation process, would g r e a t l y expand, rather than merely fine-tune, our understanding of the l i f e long course of these and other concerns. The foregoing argument for the consideration of a broader epistemic context and l i f e - s p a n focus f o r matters of importance f o r i d e n t i t y formation should not be construed as an attempt to s t r i p adolescence of i t s s p e c i a l status as a recognizably d i s t i n c t phase of the l i f e c y c l e . Adolescence i s bracketed by childhood on one side and adulthood on the other. When the epistemic assumptions of younger, grade school c h i l d r e n are considered, i t i s c l e a r that they are a l l thorough-going epistemic r e a l i s t s . On the other hand, when one considers the range of epistemic options which appear to be recognized by and within adult society there appears to be c u l t u r a l support only f o r epistemic postures which allow 146 one to get on with one's l i f e . There are l i b e r a l s and conservatives, Democrats and Republicans, and open and closed minds (Rokeach, 1960). There are, however, no middle p o s i t i o n s i n adulthood — no adult skeptics. Relativism or skepticism i s the le a s t tenable epistemic p o s i t i o n to be i n , as even dogmatism, despite i t s negative connotations, has considerable c u l t u r a l support. The skeptic's i n a b i l i t y to proceed knowledgably represents an unsteady fulcrum from which to d i r e c t one's l i f e . S o c i e t a l recognition of t h i s as a legitimate, though tra n s i e n t , p o s i t i o n i s at the core of the s p e c i a l s o c i a l status accorded adolescence. Skepticism beyond adolescence i s not t o l e r a t e d , except perhaps i n academia, and impending adulthood demands that young adults make a stand which necessitates e i t h e r a retre a t i n t o dogmatism or, more optimally, a r a t i o n a l stand. Just as the moritorium ego-identity status i s considered a transient luxury of adolescence, so too i s skepticism. 147 References Abraham, K.G. (1983). 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Wimmer, H. & Perner, J . (1983). Beiefs about b e l i e f s : Representation and constraining function of wrong b e l i e f s i n young children's • understanding of deception. Cognition, 13, 103-128. Wimmer, H. & Hogrefe, J . ( i n press). A second stage i n children's conception of mental l i f e : Understanding sourses of information. In J . Astington, P. Harris, & D. Olson (Eds.), Developing theories  of mind. Cambridge: Cambridge U n i v e r s i t y Press. APPENDIX A Models of Epistemic Development 160 Piaget's Levels of Realism 1. Absolute Realism. No d i s t i n c t i o n i s made between thoughts or representations and the objects they represent. Objects alone e x i s t . 2. Immediate Realism. Representations are recognized as the instruments of thought but are understood to be located i n the object of knowledge and not i n the knower. 3. Mediate Realism. Representations, or the instuments of thought, are d i s t i n g u i s h e d from the objects f or which they stand. This i s accomplished, however, by granting them an independent existence. They are understood to ex i s t within one's body or i n the surrounding a i r . 4. Subjectivism or Relativism. Self-Other d i f f e r e n t i a t i o n i s complete. Representations, as the instruments of thought, are understood to be located within the knower. Knowledge of objects i s thus understood to be a constructive process. 161 Baldwin's Stages of Self and Knowledge (Broughton, 1975) 1. P r o j e c t i v e . There i s no d i f f e r e n t i a t i o n between s e l f and objects of knowledge — no s e l f as agent. R e a l i t y i s e i t h e r seen or not seen, i n copy-theoretic fashion. Persons are understood simply as objects to be d i s t i n g u i s h e d from other p h y s i c a l objects. 2. Subjective (The Inner/Outer Dualism). A d i s t i n c t i o n i s drawn between i n t e r n a l opinions and desires and external instruments or objects of inner goals. Agency may be conceived of, but e g o c e n t r i c a l l y . 3. E j e c t i v e . The inner subjective experience of the previous l e v e l i s now ascribed to, or projected i n t o , others. Interest d r i v e s perception but i s s o c i a l l y d i r e c t e d . S u b j e c t i v i t y i s , therefore, s o c i a l and not yet i n d i v i d u a l . 4. Objective. The subjective i s not diminished at t h i s l e v e l but i s , rather, caught up and surpassed by concern with o b j e c t i v e and accurate knowledge-for-itself. Personal understanding and i n t e r e s t derive from one's c o l l e c t e d body of f a c t s and truths. Personal o b j e c t i v i t y i s p o s s i b l e . 5. Immature Dualism. The d u a l i s t i c c o n t r a d i c t i o n of the body as p h y s i c a l object under one's c o n t r o l and simultaneously as the l o c a t i o n of one's subjective perspective i s r e a l i z e d . At t h i s i n i t i a l l e v e l t h i s problem i s resolved either by denying or overcomming the p h y s i c a l or by denying concern over the d u a l i t y i t s e l f . 6. Psycho-Physical Dualism. As the opposing poles of t h i s s u bjective/objective dualism gain strength, the existence neither of mind or body can no longer be suppressed or ignored. The poles are thus m a t e r i a l l y separated — the o b j e c t i v e consigned to the p h y s i c a l world and the subjective consigned to the s p i r i t u a l world. These opposing worlds are understood to come together i n the s e l f which i s simultaneously an object i n the p h y s i c a l world and i n possession of a soul which i s the manifestation of the s u b j e c t i v e / s p i r i t u a l world. 7. R e f l e c t i v e Dualism. At t h i s l e v e l , the s e l f i s understood as the subjective center of i t s experience. Knowledge e x i s t s i n the form of the representations or i n t e r n a l objects of knowedge. The subject must therefore judge the meaning and value of h i s or her ideas through r e f l e c t i o n . A s k e p t i c a l or c r i t i c a l a t t i t u d e emerges and the understanding of knowledge as the c o n s t r u c t i v i s t i c r e s u l t of reason and argument i s established. 162 8. L o g i c a l . The c o n s t r u c t i v i s t i c view of the knowing process, introduced at the previous l e v e l i s consolidated and systematized at t h i s l e v e l . Knowledge i s understood to be the r e s u l t of a r a t i o n a l enterprise and as such may be shared, and hopeless s u b j e c t i v i t y avoided, by the use of r a t i o n a l judgement. 163 Perry's Model of I n t e l l e c t u a l and E t h i c a l Development 1. Basic Duali t y . Truth and c e r t a i n t y are a v a i l a b l e to a l l , e i t h e r d i r e c t l y through one's own experience or through adherence to the d i c t a t e s of authority. The world i s a b s o l u t i s t i c a l l y d i v i d e d i n t o self/own group-right and other-wrong. 2. M u l t i p l i c i t y Pre-Legitimate. D i v e r s i t y of views or opinion are vaguely recognized but are denied or blamed on confusion or purposeful a r t i f i c e on the others' part. At t h i s l e v e l , d i v e r s i t y of opinion has no epistemic import. 3. M u l t i p l i c i t y Subordinate. D i v e r s i t y of views and opinion i s granted some legitimacy at t h i s l e v e l . Uncertainty or d i v e r s i t y of opinion i s the temporary r e s u l t of incomplete knowledge. A u t h o r i t i e s ' knowledge may al s o be incomplete. People at t h i s l e v e l may d i f f e r i n how they view what one may do while waiting for c e r t a i n knowledge. Some view the knowledge process as an i n t e r e s t i n g exercise to be evaluated i n terms of s t y l e u n t i l knowledge i s eventually revealed while others are concerned that i n the absense of c e r t a i n knowledge they may be subject to the caprice of authority. 4. M u l t i p l i c i t y Correlate or Relativism Subordinate. At t h i s l e v e l knowledge i s more c l e a r l y d i v i d e d i n t o those areas where c e r t a i n t y i s poss i b l e and those where i t i s not. In cases where absolutes are doubted or considered so remote as to be ina c c e s s i b l e , anyone's opinion i s as v a l i d as any others'. 5. Relativism. S u b j e c t i v i t y i s no longer seen as a transient problem or as a mode of thought demanded by authority, but i s viewed instead as an i n t r i n s i c part of the knowing process. The world may s t i l l be divided i n t o those areas where authority has the answers (e.g., physics or chemistry) and those areas where r e l a t i v i s m i s i n t r i n s i c a l l y interwoven through the knowing enterprise or i t may be accepted as applying to the e n t i r e knowing process. As yet no cl e a r method for proceeding i n those areas characterized by r e l a t i v i s m i s thought to be a v a i l a b l e . 6. Commitment Foreseen. Relativism i s accepted as an inexorable part of the knowing process. Commitment i s recognized as the only way that one may proceed i n such a world. At t h i s l e v e l commitments are not yet made. What may be noted, rather, i s any of a series of reactions to t h i s i n i t i a l r e a l i z a t i o n (e.g., turmoil, eagerness, dismay, or simple acceptance to name but a few). 7. I n i t i a l Commitment. F i r s t commitments are made and t h e i r grounding i n one's own personal reasoning and choices i s acknowledged. There i s , as yet, l i t t l e consideration of the implications of such commitments. 164 8. Orientation i n Implications of Commitment. The implications of commitmant are r e a l i z e d and considered. These include opposing concerns over tentativeness and f i n a l i t y , a c t i o n and r e f l e c t i o n , and freedom and c o n s t r a i n t . One begins, at t h i s l e v e l , to gather a sense of i d e n t i t y both i n terms of the s p e c i f i c commitments made or contemplated and i n the manner i n which commitment i s expressed. 9. Developing Commitments. Commitments and t h e i r implications are j o i n t l y considered as one's l i f e and commitments, past, present, and future are contemplated. Continuity of i d e n t i t y i s acknowledged despite changes i n mood or outlook and one s h i f t s from r e f l e c t i n g upon one's l i f e to l i v i n g within i t . 165 Broughton's Epistemological Levels 0. Undif f er ent i a t ed. No d i s t i n c t i o n i s made between knowledge and known. Knowledge i s the d i r e c t r e s u l t of experience with r e a l i t y . 1. Objective. Thoughts include representations of a v i s i b l e / t a n g i b l e r e a l i t y and are themselves semi-real though i n v i s i b l y located i n the mind. 2. Naive Subjective. R e a l i t y e x i s t s and i s presented to the s e l f as facts through sense-data. Knowledge, however, i s comprised of subjective/unshared opinions regarding such p u b l i c f a c t s . 3. S p i r i t u a l i t y . R e a l i t y i s understood at t h i s l e v e l to be e x i s t as an i d e a l or essence behind surface appearance. Truth i s v e r i f i e d and c e r t a i n t y redeemed not with reference to sense-data as at previous l e v e l s but through s o c i a l v e r i f i c a t i o n or common sense. 4. P o s i t i v i s t . There i s no d i r e c t access to tr u t h at t h i s l e v e l but c e r t a i n t y may be vouchsafed by the hypothetical deductive s c i e n t i f i c modelling of r e a l i t y which i s lawful but beyond d i r e c t access. S c i e n t i f i c o b j e c t i v i t y i s understood to redeem sk e p t i c a l s u b j e c t i v i t y . 4 1 / / 2. S o l i p s i s t . At t h i s l e v e l a l l knowledge, being derived from personal experience i s n e c e s s a r i l y p e r s o n - r e l a t i v e . A l l knowledge i s unavoidably subjective and r e a l i t y i s appearance. 5. Subjective I d e a l i s t . Knowledge i s understood to be the r e s u l t of the a p p l i c a t i o n of r a t i o n a l c r i t e r i a . Various, equally v a l i d , systems of su b j e c t i v e l y defined c r i t e r i a may e x i s t by which to define r a t i o n a l i t y . Knowledge i s constructed and tr u t h i s therefore r e l a t i v e to perspective. 6. Objective I d e a l i s t . An i d e a l i z e d perspective. R e a l i t y and truth dervive from judgement based upon c r i t e r i a which may be un i v e r s a l i z e d . 166 Kuhn, Pennington, and Leadbeater's  Levels of Cognitive Relativism 0. Nonreflective . Accounts of events are not d i s t i n g u i s h e d from the events they de p i c t . This absense of any appreciation of the p o s s i b i l i t y of commenting upon events r e s u l t s i n an unquestioned realism. Knowledge simply i s . * 1. Copy Theoretic . Accounts are t a c i t l y acknowledged to be d i s t i n c t from the events they represent but, because the events themselves are understood to be d i r e c t l y a v a i l a b l e to experience, any discrepencies between accounts of such events are dismissed as due to incomplete reporting of the f a c t s . 2. R e a l i s t . At t h i s l e v e l , r e a l i t y i s s t i l l understood to be the f i n a l a r b i t e r of d i f f e r i n g accounts of events i n the world. Divergent accounts are believed at t h i s l e v e l to be ascribable to d i f f e r e n t renderings of the f a c t s or to i n c l u s i o n of d i f f e r e n t subsets of f a c t s . Thus while accounts may d i f f e r there i s s t i l l a s i n g l e r e a l i t y against which they may be checked for r e l a t i v e v e r a c i t y . 3. P e r s p e c t i v i s t . At t h i s l e v e l the discourse i s d i v i d e d i n t o two contrasting domains — the realm of objective f a c t and the realm of subjective opinion. D i f f e r i n g accounts of a single event may be the r e s u l t of d i f f e r e n c e s at the l e v e l of opinion but such differences may be r e c o n c i l e d by referencing the underlying facts of the matter. At t h i s l e v e l opinions are understood to be subordinate to f a c t s . 4. R e l a t i v i s t . At t h i s l e v e l the h i e r a r c h i c a l ordering of the two realms of discourse mapped out at the previous l e v e l i s reversed. Facts are understood to have meaning only when f i l t e r e d through a subjective frame or perspective. D i f f e r i n g accounts may thus no longer be re c o n c i l e d by r e f e r i n g to an o b j e c t i v e reading of the a v a i l a b l e f a c t s . Truth, at t h i s l e v e l , i s r e l a t i v e to subjective perspective. * These l e v e l s were unlabeled i n the o r i g i n a l authors' account. 167 Kitchener and King: The R e f l e c t i v e Judgement Model Stage 1. R e a l i t y i s o b j e c t i v e l y given and knowledge of i t i s perceptually derived d i r e c t l y from experience. D i v e r s i t y of opinion i s not p o s s i b l e within t h i s view and i s therefore not noticed. Stage 2. R e a l i t y at t h i s l e v e l e x i s t s to be known but may not be immediately a v a i l a b l e to a l l . When absolute knowledge eludes the i n d i v i d u a l i t may be redeemed through c o n s u l t a t i o n with legitimate a u t h o r i t i e s to whom the knowledge i s a v a i l a b l e . Stage 3. Objective knowledge of r e a l i t y i s p o s s i b l e at t h i s l e v e l though i t may, i n some instances, be temporarily unavailable and await future discovery by a u t h o r i t i e s who are applying themselves to the problem. Stage 4. Objective r e a l i t y e x i s t s but i s beyond the grasp even of the a u t h o r i t i e s . For p r a c t i c a l reasons, o b j e c t i v e knowledge i s impossible to obtain, absolute c e r t a i n t y i s irredeemably l o s t , and knowledege i s consequently pe r s o n - r e l a t i v e . Stage 5. Objective knowledge does not ex i s t and i s therefore unattainable. A l l knowledge i s thus a subjective i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of personal experience evaluated or j u s t i f i e d on the basis of context or perspective r e l a t i v e c r i t e r i a . Stage 6. Similar to Stage 5, except that at t h i s l e v e l truth or knowledge c r i t e r i a are r a t i o n a l l y grounded i n generalized rules of evidence and i n q u i r y which are abstracted from and span d i f f e r i n g perspectives. Stage 7. At t h i s l e v e l , i t i s held that, through a process of reasonable inqu i r y based upon r a t i o n a l c r i t i c i s m , knowledge statements may be evaluated as more or les s l i k e l y approximations to r e a l i t y . APPENDIX B Measures of Formal Operations: Protocols and Scoring C r i t e r i a 169 PROBABILITY (BEADS) PROBLEM: SCORING CRITERIA LEVEL 0 Unable to give any systematic account of the p r o b a b i l i t y involved. LEVEL 1 Able to express and explain the rudiments of systematic p r o b a b i l i t y as evidenced by p r e d i c t i n g one i n three, 1/3, or 33.3% p r o b a b i l i t y of g e t t i n g a p a r t i c u l a r color on the f i r s t draw. Is l i m i t e d , however, as i t may only be based on an i n t u i t i v e appreciation that the odds are egual when there are and equal number of beads of each c o l o r . They may also appreciate, by t h i s reasoning, that the odds of repeating the f i r s t draw on the second draw are lower, but they are not as yet capable of quantifying those odds. LEVEL 2 F u l l q u a n t i f i c a t i o n of p r o b a b i l i t y on the f i r s t and on subsequent draws (e.g., 5/17 on second draw). Able to explain answer though obviously i f someone can compute the correct answer of 5/17 they can explain i t . If word of the task has been passed around from screened to unscreened subjects someone might give t h i s answer and be unable to explain i t . Simply saying that the odds would be less than 1 i n 3 i s not s u f f i c i e n t to warrant a l e v e l 2 score. 170 BLACK BOX PROBLEM: SCORING CRITERIA LEVEL 0 T o t a l l y random responding both spontaneuosly and when asked either why they proceeded the way they d i d or i f there was some more systematic or order l y way they could have proceeded. LEVEL 1 We can assume the existence of the a b i l i t y to push the buttons one at a time. At t h i s l e v e l are found the beginnings of a v a r i e t y of p o s s i b l e semi-systems for t r y i n g button combinations. P r o f i c i e n c y with p a i r s of buttons precedes that with sets of three buttons so t h i s scoring l e v e l focusses on pairwise attempts. Either by action or by explanation, semi-systems include a l l those systems which f a i l by f a l l i n g short of demonstrating a l l po s s i b l e pairwise combinations and leaving the subject unsure as to whether they have t r i e d a l l p o s s i b l e p a i r s . Such semi-systems have a perceptual q u a l i t y about them. They represent ordered ways of pushing buttons two at a time that are consciously ( s t r a t e g i c a l l y or thoughtfully) chosen, and may be described, but lack any r e f l e c t i o n upon the the system as a whole and i t s r e l a t i o n to the task of f i n d i n g a l l l o g i c a l l y p o s s i b l e combinations of a p e r t i c u l a r set of buttons. An example of such semi-systems i s the D r i f t approach i n which a c e r t a i n placement or spacing of the fing e r s i s t r i e d at one end of the row of buttons and moved or d r i f t e d across the row (e.g., 12, 23, 34, 45 or 13, 24, 35). A Symetric semi-system i s one i n which the buttons are pressed i n ways which balance both the length of the button spread ( i . e . , adjacent buttons, a l t e r n a t e buttons, etc. e.g., 12, 45 or 13, 35, 24, e t c . ) . LEVEL 2 Systematic performance, either i n action or by verbal report, through the p a i r s ( i . e . , 12, 13, 14, 15, 23, etc.) but use of no system or of semi-systems on the sets of three buttons using stratagies l i k e those ou t l i n e d i n l e v e l 1. LEVEL 3 Systematic through the p a i r s and through the sets of three but poor performance on the sets of four. Central to t h i s l e v e l i s the a b i l i t y to continue the system ei t h e r v e r b a l l y or by demonstration beyond making the l i g h t go on. LEVEL 4 Systematic, either i n word or deed, through a l l possible combinations, i n c l u d i n g most or a l l fours. May or may not comment d i r e c t l y on the s p e c i f i c e f f e c t s of the unwired and reverse wired buttons. Scoring Notes (1) If the subject performs at a lower l e v e l when t r y i n g combinations wordlessly but when questioned as to the p o s s i b i l i t y of using a system c l e a r l y describes a systematic approach, score t h e i r words and not t h e i r deeds. 171 (2) S u c c e s s f u l l y generating a l l p o s s i b l e sets of four buttons by working backwards from f i v e i s a clever but simple strategy s i m i l a r to pushing one button at a time. It i s commendable but the approaches used to generate the sets of two and three should be scored. (3) If there i s i n s u f f i c i a n t information to f u l l y appraise a subject's performance on t h i s task, give them a G (for guess) and, where possibl e , assign a scoring l e v e l as well (e.g., G2 or G3 e t c . ) . This w i l l allow us to take such a score or the lack of a score with the appropriate amount of s a l t . 172 PLANTS PROBLEM: SCORING CRITERIA LEVEL 0 Reasons s o l e l y on the basis of i s o l a t e d instances. That i s , sees no connection between the plants as they appear i n the pict u r e s and the information they represent as to the l o g i c a l manipulation of the va r i a b l e s i n the experiment the pictures are intended to de p i c t . E.G., Use A, B, or C because that plant looks p r e t t y good or looks the best. At t h i s l e v e l they f a i l to exclude the inoperative v a r i a b l e . E.G., A has something to do with i t . It seems to help but only a l i t t l e b i t . LEVEL 1 (a) Recommends a s p e c i f i c food or foods because they appear i n the p i c t u r e to have turned out well but f a i l to spontaneously speak to a l l aspects of the operative v a r i a b l e ( s ) e.g.,such as th e i r i n t e r a c t i v e e f f e c t s with other v a r i a b l e s or the lack thereof. Excludes A as no good ei t h e r simply with reference to "how i t turned out" or because i t i s "the same as no food" but f a i l s to generalize t h i s exclusion to the various combinations which include A (I.E., AB, AC, ABC). LEVEL 1 (b) As i n Level 1 but does extend exclusion of A to include those combinations of which.A i s a part. LEVEL 2 (a) Properly i d e n t i f i e s either the a d d i t i v e or the a l t e r n a t i v e e f f e c t s but not both, excludes A both s i n g l y and i n combinations either spontaneously or when asked d i r e c t l y , and eit h e r does or does not appreciate that there i s some kind of d i f f e r e n c e i n how the plant foods e f f e c t each type of food (though the noted d i f f e r e n c e s may be more d e s c r i p t i v e than emp i r i c a l ) . LEVEL 2 (b) Properly i d e n t i f i e s both the a l t e r n a t i v e and the a d d i t i v e e f f e c t s , excludes A as i n Level 2 (b), but f a i l s to note the d i f f e r e n t e f f e c t s of the foods on the two types of p l a n t s . LEVEL 3 C o r r e c t l y i d e n t i f i e s both the a d d i t i v e and the a l t e r n a t i v e e f f e c t s , l o g i c a l l y excludes the inoperative v a r i a b l e A i n a l l i t s manifestations (though perhaps only when asked), and c l e a r l y i d e n t i f i e s the d i f f e r e n t i a l e f f e c t s of the foods on the two kinds of plants by r e f e r r i n g to the singular versus i n t e r a c t i v e ( a d d i t i v e or m u l t i p l i c a t i v e ) e f f e c t s of the plant foods themselves rather than simply de s c r i b i n g how the plants look. APPENDIX C Epistemic Doubt Interview: S t o r i e s , Probes, and Scoring Manual 174 DRIVING AGE In a small town i n B r i t i s h Columbia a meeting had been c a l l e d about whether the l o c a l high school should continue to o f f e r a d r i v e r ' s education course. Many parents were against the school o f f e r i n g t h i s course and many students wanted the course to continue. A committee of parents and a students' committee both wrote a r t i c l e s which appeared i n the l o c a l paper before the meeting took place. Parts of these a r t i c l e s are shown below: Report by The Parent's Committee for Safe Driving We are opposed to the high school o f f e r i n g a d r i v e r training- course for i t s students. S c i e n t i f i c information presented i n t h i s paper over the past few weeks c l e a r l y shows that 16 year olds, as a group, are not responsible enough to be trusted with the handling of a motor v e h i c l e . While the law now permits 16 year olds to obtain a d r i v e r ' s l i c e n s e , with parental permission, teenagers should not be allowed to d r i v e u n t i l they are at l e a s t 19 years o l d . Offering a d r i v e r t r a i n i n g course through the school puts u n f a i r pressure on parents to l e t t h e i r c h i l d r e n learn to d r i v e before they are 19 years o l d . The course must be taken out of the school imediately for the safety of a l l concerned. Report by The Student Committee for Young Drivers We are i n favour of continuing the d r i v e r t r a i n i n g course i n our high school. The s c i e n t i f i c information that has been p r i n t e d i n t h i s newspaper and elsewhere support the view that 16 year olds are just as responsible as adults and should be able to learn to d r i v e as soon as they are l e g a l l y allowed to do so. The d r i v e r t r a i n i n g course i n the high school encourages students to follow a proper t r a i n i n g program and become better d r i v e r s . The law allows us to d r i v e at 16 years of age and we should have a t r a i n i n g course i n our school for everyone to take. 175 I. 1. On the basis of what you've read t e l l me what the parents' and students' committees said about the issue of 16 year olds being responsible enough to d r i v e . 2. Are the arguments and conclusions of the two committees (as they are presented here) d i f f e r e n t i n any important ways? How are they d i f f e r e n t ? I I . 1. How could these two committees end up having such d i f f e r e n t things to say about the issue of 16 year olds being responsible enough to drive? 2. Why do you think these two committees wrote such d i f f e r e n t a r t i c l e s ? 3. Do you think one of the committees has got the f a c t s wrong? How important i s that to the disagreement? (Would that be important?) I I I . 1. If these two groups had a l l of the same information might they s t i l l disagree? Explain why that i s or i s not p o s s i b l e . )L 2. It sounds as though you're saying people can view things i n any way they want, i s that what you are saying? 3. What i f another group reviewed the same information and decided that kids should be allowed to d r i v e when they were twelve years o l d , would that be an O.K. opinion to have? Why or why not? 4. What i f a group of s p e c i a l i s t s reviewed the p o s i t i o n s of the parent and student committees. Do you think that the s p e c i a l i s t s might know what was best to do? What makes you say that? IV. 1. Is there a way of deciding which of these reports the p r i n c i p a l should pay most att e n t i o n to i n deciding the f a t e of the d r i v e r t r a i n i n g course? why or why not? 2. What kinds of things might the p r i n c i p a l consider i n order to determine what to do about the d r i v e r education course? 176 NATIVE LIFESTYLES Recently s o c i o l o g i s t s who have spoken to West Coast Indians and studied t h e i r society published two new books about the West Coast Indians and t h e i r r e l a t i o n to our non-native society. What follows are paragraphs from the f i r s t page of each of these new books. C u l t u r a l Independence and the Coastal Indians We have interviewed, l i v e d with, and studied the West Coast Indians and t h e i r c u l t u r e and have found that they l e d happier, r i c h e r , more meaningful l i v e s when they l i v e d on t h e i r own i n t r i b a l groups than they did a f t e r they had contact with Europeans and others who s e t t l e d North America. Even though modern influences have improved a few things o v e r a l l , however, contact with non-native people since pioneer times has brought the Coastal Indians many problems. These problems are so serious that the best thing that could happen would be for native people to become more independent of non-native groups. West Coast Indians: A Case for C u l t u r a l Integration Based on a large research project i n which we l i v e d with and interviewed West Coast Indians and studied t h e i r c u l t u r e we found that t h e i r l i f e s t y l e today i s happier and more prosperous than i t ever was. Modern knowledge i n such areas as health care and education and modern technology i n the f i s h i n g industry and other areas has g r e a t l y increased the standard of l i v i n g , f i n a n c i a l s e c u r i t y , and happiness of the West coast Indians. Even though a few problems have been created i n the course of the many changes that have taken place as a r e s u l t of contact with the non-native society, o v e r a l l the benefits far outweigh these temporary adjustment i s s u e s . The best thing that could happen would be for native people to increase t h e i r contact with the non-native population. 177 I. 1. On the basis of what you have read, t e l l me what these two groups of authors have written about West Coast Indians and t h e i r r e l a t i o n to our non-native society. 2. Are the arguements and conclusions i n these two books d i f f e r e n t i n any important ways? How are they d i f f e r e n t ? I I . 1. Why do you think the authors of these two book reached such d i f f e r e n t conclusions i n t h e i r books? 2. On the basis of what you have read, do you think that one of these books i s mistaken about what has happened i n the l i v e s of the West Coast Indians? How important are such mistakes i n accounting for the d i f f e r e n t conclusions of these books? (Would they be important?) I I I . 1. Since these two groups of s o c i o l o g i s t s interviewed, l i v e d with, and studied the same Indian group, how could they end up having such d i f f e r e n t things to say about West Coast Indians and t h e i r r e l a t i o n to our non-native society? 2. It sounds as though you are saying that people can view things i n any way they want, i s that what you mean? 3. What another group of s o c i o l o g i s t s looked at these same f a c t s and wrote a book which said that the c h i l d r e n of native parents should be removed from t h e i r homes at b i r t h and r a i s e d i n non-native households. Would that be an O.K. opinion to have? Why or why not? 4. What i f a group of West Coast Indians read both of these books, would they be able to t e l l whether more or less contact with non-natives would be best for native people? What makes you say that? IV. 1. Is there a way of deciding which of these books government o f f i c i a l s ought to pay most a t t e n t i o n to i n deciding what would be best for The West Coast Indians? Explain further or why not? 2. What other kinds of things might government o f f i c i a l s , consider i n order to get a c l e a r p i c t u r e of whether West Coast Indians would be better o f f with more or le s s non-native contact? 178 General Probes What i s i t about these s i t u a t i o n s that makes f i n d i n g out or deciding what i s best or r i g h t so hard? Is that true just f o r these s i t u a t i o n s or i s i t generally true? That i s , are these just weird s i t u a t i o n s or are there a l o t of s i t u a t i o n s l i k e these i n l i f e and the world? How should we approach these sorts of s i t u a t i o n s , what should we do? How should we decide what to believe and what to do? We could just decide to go our own ways when we disagree but as i n these s i t u a t i o n s we often cannot do that. What then s h a l l we do? How do we decide what to think i n these sorts of si t u a t i o n s ? 179 The Epistemic Doubt Interview The Epistemic Doubt Interview was constructed i n order to provide subjects with a serie s of c o n t r o l l e d opportunities to make e x p l i c i t t h e i r epistemic assumptions regarding the nature and a t t a i n a b i l i t y of knowledge and t r u t h . Based on the reasoning that subjects' assumptions regarding the nature of knowledge would be thrown i n t o boldest r e l i e f when they were considering instances of contradictory or competing knowledge claims, the two s t o r i e s featured i n the interview were written so as to portray d i f f e r e n t i n d i v i d u a l s as advancing divergent knowledge claims about about the same issue or event. A s e r i e s of standard probes followed each story. These standard probes were intended as a means of making as e x p l i c i t as p o s s i b l e how i t i s that the subject both constructed and undertook to resolve the competing knowledge claims set out i n each story problem. In each case the probes were intended to encourage subjects to press the l i m i t s of t h e i r understanding of the problem posed and to elaborate t h e i r b e l i e f s as to the form and appropriateness of, pos s i b l e s o l u t i o n s t r a t e g i e s . In the problem construction section of the interview subjects were f i r s t asked to what extent the disagreement portrayed i n the story was to a lack of appropriate access to the fact s on the part of one or the other group of protagonists. To the extent that the response to t h i s probe l a i d f u l l r e s p o n s i b i l i t y for such disagreements, the remainder of the probes i n t h i s section simply served to confirm, the extent to which the subject's b e l i e f that d i f f e r e n t i a l access to the f a c t s was the sing l e cause of disagreement. I f , however, r e s p o n s i b i l i t y f o r the contrasting claims made by the story characters was not layed e n t i r e l y at the door of d i f f e r e n t access, and to the 180 extent that the subject was not spontaneously forthcoming with what else might be involved, a l l subsequent probes were intended to encourage them to expand upon just what else they might be l i e v e was involved. These probes amounted to requests for the subject to be more e x p l i c i t about the nature of those other f a c t o r s which he or she believed might a l s o be responsible for such disagreements and the manner i n which the f a c t s r e l a t e to the knowing process. Once subjects had indicated by t h e i r responses what they took to be the basis for the competing knowledge claims, the second section of the interview accepted that construction of the problem and went on to ask subjects what they saw as a v i a b l e means of dealing with the problems as defined. In order to f a c i l i t a t e t h i s , the f i r s t probe i n t h i s section asked whether a t h i r d party, i n the form of a s p e c i a l i s t or expert could be of any assitance i n re s o l v i n g the problem. The optional follow-up probes to t h i s general question were intended to allow subjects to elaborate upon the r o l e which experts or other t h i r d p a r t i e s might play whenever experts were portrayed as being of l i m i t e d use. The remaining probes enquired whether there were some other ways by means of which i n d i v i d u a l s might decide which of two competing claims might have the greater merit and should be used as a guide for subsequent a c t i o n . The f i n a l set of general probes, which followed the second story was intended to provide a d d i t i o n a l opportunities for subjects to both reframe the problems presented and to describe what they believed to be generally v i a b l e s o l u t i o n strategies i n s i t u a t i o n s of t h i s s o r t . By pressing for g e n e r a l i t i e s common to both s t o r i e s t h i s l a s t set of probes was intended to encourage general statements regarding the relevance of competing knowledge claims for the whole epistemic enterprise. 181 Scoring Units A scorable unit was defined as a complete thought on the part of a subject and contained a l l responses relevant to a p a r t i c u l a r issue or concern. Thus such scoring units contained most of what a subject said spontaneously or i n response to s p e c i f i c probes concerning t h e i r construction or r e s o l u t i o n of the problem presented. Scoring units d i d not include statements of personal preference, opinion, or other i r r e l e v e n t d e t a i l when they were o f f e r e d simply as asides. Such statements were considered, however, i f they were c l e a r l y taken by the subject as grounds for understanding the problem of competing knowledge claims or for deciding which claim has more merit. As Selman (1980) has noted, when a construct of i n t e r e s t i s developmental and involves an i n v e s t i g a t i o n of age r e l a t e d changes, the tasks of interviewing subjects and scoring t h e i r responses are equally important and c l o s e l y r e l a t e d parts of the same enterprise. The interviewer must keep i n mind a l l that the scorer knows about the developmental response v a r i a t i o n a n t i c i p a t e d i n order to e f f e c t i v e l y probe subjects' statements and obtain scorable responses. For r e l a t e d reasons, the scoring strategy f o r assigning subjects' reactions to the story problems to p a r t i c u l a r l e v e l s within the current model of epistemic development c l e a r l y p a r a l l e l e d the interview format by separately coding the manner i n which each subject constructed and elaborated the problem posed i n each story and the stand of each subject regarding what constituted an appropriate s o l u t i o n strategy. In both instances scoring proceeded i n a stepwise fashion beginning with the l e v e l of epistemic naive realism and proceeding upwards through the l e v e l s on the basis of c r i t e r i a to be d e t a i l e d below. 182 Construction of the Problem The scoring c r i t e r i a presented below were applied to responses to the probes regarding the status of the fa c t s i n the competing claims advanced i n each story. As such, they are intended to f a c i l i t a t e c l a s s i f i c a t i o n of subjects' construction of the problem of competing knowledge claims i n t o one of the four l e v e l s i n the developmental model. Level 0: Realism, D i f f e r e n t Facts = D i f f e r e n t Claims. If subjects responded to the i n i t i a l questions about what i s going on i n the s t o r i e s , or to the s p e c i f i c queries about whether one of the pa r t i e s i n the story had the facts wrong, by s t a t i n g that d i f f e r e n t i a l access to the f a c t s caused the divergence of claims, then, unless subsequent evidence was found to the contrary, they were scored as l e v e l 0 epistemic r e a l i s t s . As out l i n e d e a r l i e r , epistemic r e a l i s t s believe that t r u t h i n the form of "the f a c t s " i s a v a i l a b l e to a l l . At t h i s l e v e l a l l thoughts, b e l i e f s , and opinions are seen to be the r e s u l t of d i r e c t contact with material r e a l i t y . By these l i g h t s , people who disagree are seen to do so because they have experienced d i f f e r e n t parts of the same r e a l i t y , have talked to d i f f e r e n t people, or have been at d i f f e r e n t places or at the same place at d i f f e r e n t times. Also at t h i s l e v e l no categoric d i s t i n c t i o n i s made between f a c t s and opinions, although the term opinion may be used to r e f e r to the views of those persons who have had only p a r t i a l access to the fa c t s or intended as a synonym for p a r t i a l knowledge or ignorance. A prominent feature of the thinking of subjects scored at l e v e l 0 i s a commitment to a view that knowledge claims are e n t i r e l y determined by d i r e c t experience with the world and because of t h i s , competing knowledge claims are automatically understood by them to imply some 183 d i f f e r e n t i a l access to the f a c t s . P o s i t i v e responses to the f i r s t probe, regarding whether one of the p a r t i e s has the fa c t s wrong, when accompanied by negative responses to the followup probes about what else might be involved, were scored at l e v e l 0. S p e c i f i c statements scored at t h i s l e v e l included a l l responces to story number 1 that expressed the view that the parents and students must have read d i f f e r e n t newspapers or d i f f e r e n t studies, or responces to story number 2 that i n d i c a t e d that the s o c i o l o g i s t s must have spoken to d i f f e r e n t i n d i v i d u a l Indians or t r i b e s , or have spoken to them at d i f f e r e n t times. Such r e a l i s a t i c sentiments may also be expressed, and were scored, on the basis of responses that suggested that i t would not be possible for the story characters to make divergent claims i f they d i d have access to the same facts or spoke to the same people. Responses which suggested that the use of or access to d i f f e r e n t f a c t s might explain the di f f e r e n c e s i n knowledge claims were not i n and of themselves judged as s u f f i c i e n t to warrant a score of zero. Also excluded from t h i s l e v e l were any statements i n response to the i n i t i a l or subsequent probes which suggested that the opposing claims may be based on other than, or more than, d i f f e r i n g experience on the part of the story characters. Any such statements e f f e c t i v e l y r u l e d out a l e v e l 0 designation and were considered for scoring at higher l e v e l s . Level 1: Dogmatism; Se l e c t i v e Attention or Strategic S e l e c t i o n . Once i t had been determined that the subject considered more to be involved i n the construction of the problem of competing knowledge claims than d i f f e r e n t i a l access to the f a c t s , and scoring at l e v e l 0 had been ruled out, a l e v e l 1 designation of the statement was.considered. Subjects were scored at t h i s l e v e l to the extent that they showed an 184 appreciation of the f a c t that one's h i s t o r y contributes to t h e i r understanding of the f a c t s . At t h i s new l e v e l , persons' thoughts are seen to be of two types; (1) d i r e c t representations of r e a l i t y , or objective f a c t s and (2) r e f l e c t i v e considerations about those representations or subjective opinions. While at l e v e l 0 opinions were considered as byproducts of incomplete access to r e a l i t y , at t h i s l e v e l opinion comes to be seen as a part of a d i s i n c t value r e l a t i v e domain made up s o l e l y of such things as values, preferences, and biases. Opinions and other such r e l a t e d elements of thought, are no longer seen by l e v e l 1 subjects to be derived from experience. While the process by which f a c t s are gathered i s s t i l l understood by them to involve a d i r e c t reading o f f of experience, subjective opinions and preferences are viewed more e x i s t e n t i a l l y . Whatever t h e i r o r i g i n s such opinions are seen by l e v e l 1 subjects to lead people to be s t r a t e g i c a l l y s e l e c t i v e of the f a c t s they gather and/or report when st a t i n g t h e i r case. The problem that t h i s f a c t / o p i n i o n dichotomy creates for subjects at t h i s l e v e l i s that they may be misled i f they are forced to r e l y upon other peoples' claims, because they have no easy way of knowing when they are being given a well rounded or unbiased account of the f a c t s . Responses scored at t h i s l e v e l c l e a r l y i n d i c a t e that the subject assumes that there i s often more to disagreement than simple d i f f e r e n t i a l access to the f a c t s . To be scored at t h i s l e v e l a statement had to go beyond any s t r a i g h t forward r e l i a n c e on o b j e c t i v e fact and instead assign some or a l l of the r e s p o n s i b i l i t y for the c o n f l i c t i n g knowledge claims to the p a r t i c u l a r opinions, values, preferences or biases of each story character. Included at t h i s l e v e l were a l l statements to the e f f e c t that the subjective opinions exressed by the 185 story characters lead them to s t r a t e g i c a l l y present only that sub-set of the f a c t s i n t h e i r possesion which best support t h e i r own claims. In a s l i g h t l y d i f f e r e n t but r e l a t e d vein, responses scorable at t h i s l e v e l may a l s o claim that peoples' biases, strong b e l i e f s , or preferences sometimes pre-dispose them to attend more to those f a c t s which support t h e i r opinions or prejudices than to those which cont r a d i c t them. At t h i s l e v e l , subjective opinion i s held apart from the domain of obj e c t i v e f a c t s . Consequently, statements to the e f f e c t that a l l that i s involved whenever p a r t i e s disagree are such matters of opinion or preference were a l s o scored at t h i s l e v e l . Statements were also scored at l e v e l 1 when i t was c l e a r that thoughts were dichotomously d i v i d e d i n t o the subjective and objective, and where i t was at l e a s t implied that the two could be kept separate. Counter i n d i c a t i o n s for responses scored at l e v e l 1 were any suggestion that the d i s t i n c t i o n between f a c t s and opinions or subjective and objective matters i s b l u r r e d . Any suggestion that one's opinions may intrude upon the actual knowing process i n ways that render i t a c o n s t r u c t i v i s t i c rather than a perceptual or r e a l i s t i c process were read as i n d i c a t i v e of some higher l e v e l response and ruled out a l e v e l 1 c l a s s i f i c a t i o n . Level 2; Skepticism: Meaning i s i n the Mind of the Beholder. The problem of competing knoweldge claims, as i t i s constructed at t h i s l e v e l , i s p a r t i c u l a r l y acute. What i s appreciated at t h i s , but not at previous l e v e l s , i s that one's r e f l e c t i v e thoughts, or second order representations, do not comprise a category of knowledge on the same l e v e l as one's representations of r e a l i t y , but are, instead, understood to be the second order lenses through which one views and assigns meaning to the world. The d i s t i n c t i o n between f a c t s and opinions thus i s 186 no longer a simple sorting problem but involves a h i e r a r c h i c a l judgement i n which values and opinions are seen to stand above, rather than beside the f a c t s . The e f f e c t of t h i s h i e r a r c h i c a l i z a t i o n i s to break down the previous objective/subjective dichotomy, while at the same time expanding the c l a s s of subjective opinion to include v i r t u a l l y a l l knowledge. As at l e v e l 1, biases, values, preferences, and opinions s t i l l e f f e c t the claims one makes, but at t h i s l e v e l they do so by being d i r e c t l y implicated i n the knowing process and colouring or determining how experiences w i l l be understood. Any statements which located opinions and the l i k e d i r e c t l y i n - l i n e i n the knowing process were consequently scored as r e f l e c t i n g a l e v e l 2 construction of the problem. Statements scored at t h i s l e v e l include claims that opinions may not be held at bay and that because they are d i r e c t l y implicated i n the knowing process an o b j e c t i v e view of the f a c t s i s seen as d i f f i c u l t i f not impossible. Also included at t h i s l e v e l were claims that who or what kind of person one i s may determine the manner i n which one sees or hears things. This had to be distinguished, however from the l e v e l 1 consideration that one's p e r s o n a l i t y i s an i n d i c a t i o n of one's l i k e s and d i s l i k e s . The key scoring d i s t i n c t i o n between t h i s and other l e v e l s i s that at l e v e l 2 people's opinions, biases, and points of view are seen to be an i n e x t r i c a b l y part of the knowing process. They thus, n e c e s s a r i l y e f f e c t what one sees, thinks, and claims. The problem of divergent knowledge claims i s thus viewed as one r e s u l t i n g from a person r e l a t i v e construction and not simply due to some divergence i n perceptual experience. 187 Solution Strategies The scoring c r i t e r i a to be presented below apply to those responses that subjects o f f e r as s o l u t i o n to the problem of divergent knowledge claims that they previously i d e n t i f i e d during the f i r s t part of the interview. As with the scoring of the problem construction phase, the scoring of these proposed resolutions proceeds stepwise through a process i n which an attempt i s made to match each response to a l i s t of c r i t e r i a l statements representative of Levels 0 through 3. Level 0: Realism: "What Problem?" As was described i n the problem construction section, subjects coded at the zero l e v e l see a l l problems of competing knowledge claims as both t r a n s i e n t and t r i v i a l . Because such competing claims are seen to be the product of d i f f e r e n t experience on the part of the protagonists, sorting things out requires l i t t l e more than getting a l l the necessary information together i n one place. Which of two a l t e r n a t i v e s i s seen to be correct i s e i t h e r regarded as obvious ( i . e . , one of the protagonists has more information than the other), or requires only that the claimants compare notes to decide which of them i s p r i v y to the most f a c t s . "Solutions" which are also scorable at t h i s l e v e l are dismissive remarks that r e f l e c t the l e v e l 0 b e l i e f that such disagreements would not be p o s s i b l e under the conditions of equal access to information that are implied i n the stimulus s t o r i e s . Experts at t h i s l e v e l are held to be u s e f u l i n s o r t i n g out such disagreements only to the extent that they may have had broader experiences than e i t h e r claimant i n the story. Any suggestion that no s o l u t i o n i s p o s s i b l e or that some s p e c i a l perspective might be required to sort out such competing claims contra-indicates a l e v e l 0 designation 188 and led to the response being considered for higher l e v e l c l a s s i f i c a t i o n . Level 1: Dogmatism: O b j e c t i v i t y and Compromise. The problem of re s o l v i n g competing knowledge claims at l e v e l 1 i s viewed as one of determining who to t r u s t . What makes t h i s a problem at t h i s l e v e l i s that while o b j e c t i v e f a c t s are s t i l l seen to be p o t e n t i a l l y a v a i l a b l e , i t i s appreciated that much of one's knowledge i s derived i n d i r e c t l y through the experiences of others. In a d d i t i o n , peoples' subjective opinions, preferences, and values are understood to often lead them to either s e l e c t i v e l y present only those f a c t s which lend support to t h e i r own claims or may have lead them to look i n one d i r e c t i o n as opposed to another and to consequently become less than completely informed. Because both of these assumptions presuppose that the knowing process i s only i n d i r e c t l y a f f e c t e d by such subjective considerations, o b j e c t i v e knowledge i s s t i l l taken to be possible, i n p r i n c i p l e , though often d i f f i c u l t to aquire. Three coping s t r a t e g i e s may be seen to follow from t h i s construction of the problem. The most obvious sol u t i o n , given such continued adherence to a r e a l i s t i c epistemic stance, i s to f i n d out which claim i s correct by going and looking for one's s e l f . The only cautionary admonitions required by such "see-for-yourself" p r e s c r i p t i o n s , are reminders to "be objective" or, more to the point, thorough i n looking at a l l the f a c t s . Any statement to the e f f e c t that looking o b j e c t i v e l y or for oneself w i l l allow one to resolve the competing knowledge claims should be scored at t h i s l e v e l . Subjects at t h i s l e v e l sometimes appreciate, however, that i t i s not always p o s s i b l e to go and look for oneself. When t h i s i s not 189 poss i b l e , due to lack of time or opportunity, the epistemic problem i s often keenly f e l t by l e v e l 1 subjects. That i s , when forced to r e l y upon second hand information one i s seen to be i n the serious jeopardy of being mislead. The problem from t h i s perspective i s one of t r u s t and the repair for i t i s to f i n d some d i s i n t e r e s t e d t h i r d party who, by v i r t u e of t h e i r neutral stance may be trusted to consider the array of a v a i l a b l e f a c t s i n an open minded or unbiased manner. Experts are most often valued at t h i s l e v e l f o r t h e i r n e u t r a l i t y , though value n e u t r a l i t y i s by no means a t r a i t r e s t r i c t e d to experts. A l l statements which emphasise the importance of d i s i n t e r e s t or unbiasedness as a factor i n the trustworthiness of a source of second hand information should be scored at l e v e l 1. At t h i s l e v e l second hand information i s a substitute f o r f i r s t hand experience and so the only concern i s with the c r e d i b i l i t y of the source. Any suggestion that bias or personal i n t e r e s t are endemic to the knowing process contradict a l e v e l one designation and were considered f o r scoring at l e v e l s 2 or 3. The f i n a l s olution strategy scorable at t h i s l e v e l amounts to an attempt on the part of the subject to dodge the epistemic implications of such disagreements. As was d e t a i l e d i n the e a r l i e r section concerned with problem construction, the Level 1 subjects' tendency to dichotimize the contents of thought i n t o f a c t s and opinions enables young people at t h i s l e v e l to dismiss c e r t a i n divergent knowledge claims as being e p i s t e m i c a l l y i r r e l e v a n t on the grounds that they concern only matters of opinion. Such constructions of the problem are matched by a l e v e l 1 coping strategy i n which the problem i s reduced to one of competing i n t e r e s t and compromise i s seen as the only way of s e t t l i n g dissagreements. Consequently, statements which suggest that compromise 190 between opposing views or i n t e r e s t s i s a l l that i s p o s s i b l e are scored at t h i s l e v e l . In such s i t u a t i o n s , experts sometimes may be valued as mediators on the grounds that they might f a c i l i t a t e an amicable settlement of such anassuagably d i f f e r e n t views. Talk of compromise should only be scored at t h i s l e v e l when the l e v e l 1 d i s t i n c t i o n between f a c t and opinion i s e x p l i c i t l y made. Instances where compromise i s held out as a r e s o l u t i o n strategy when matters of fact rather than opinion are at stake were considered f o r scoring at l e v e l s 2 or 3. Level 2; Skepticism; Non-Rational Solutions. As o u t l i n e d i n part one of t h i s scoring section, subjects at l e v e l 2 read a l l c o n f l i c t i n g knowledge claims as a r e f l e c t i o n of a wholesale r e l a t i v i s m i n which subjective opinions, preferences, and biases so suffuse the knowing process that judgements as to the r e l a t i v e merits of one claim over another are seen as groundless. At t h i s l e v e l , the p o t e n t i a l incommensurability of knowledge claims i s accepted i n p r i n c i p l e and understood, when i t occurs, to be unresolvable. This acceptance of subjective r e l a t i v i s m as an i n - l i n e feature of the knowing process dissallows any simple appeal to f a c t s or f i r s t hand experience as a means of r e s o l v i n g d i f f e r e n c e s of opinion. Given t h i s c o n s t r u c t i v i s t i c view of the knowing process, a l l d i r e c t access to material fa c t s i s assumed to be l o s t . The epistemic problem faced by such subjects i s no longer one of tr u s t but the more imposing one of i n t e r p r e t a t i o n . One p o s s i b l e way of coping with t h i s new found r e l a t i v i s m i s to dogmatically assert that while most people lack the grounds for deciding which of two claims has the greater merit, c e r t a i n experts who are s p e c i a l l y placed or trained are excused from the usual l i m i t a t i o n s that characterize everyone e l s e . The p r i v i l e d g e d i n s i g h t s or sp e c i a l methods 191 of such experts are assumed to allow them access to an absolute t r u t h denied to everyone e l s e . Scored at t h i s l e v e l were any suggestions that experts, by v i r t u e of t h e i r t r a i n i n g , methods, or experience were not ( i n l e v e l 1 fashion) simply i n possesion of more f a c t s , a c t u a l l y have a deeper, more priveledged understanding of the issue than do others. Accounts of the " s c i e n t i f i c method" that took i t as an approach excused from the l i m i t a t i o n s imposed on a l l more casual methods of understanding were scored at t h i s l e v e l . The a l t e r n a t i v e coping strategy possible at t h i s l e v e l amounts to t o t a l acceptance of the s k e p t i c a l implications of r e l a t i v i s e d t r u t h . Such a s k e p t i c a l stance involves the b e l i e f that there are no r a t i o n a l grounds on which to decide which of two competing claims to believe and c a r r i e s with i t the i m p l i c a t i o n that one must eit h e r refuse to make a decis i o n , on the grounds that there are no c r i t e r i a for doing so, or, i f pressed to proceed, make such decisions on other nonrational grounds. The s o l u t i o n strategies scored at t h i s l e v e l included statements to the e f f e c t that one can simply believe whatever one wants. When compromise i s proposed by such subjects i t i s only understood as a way of moving things along without any attendant hope that i t could b r i n g one any closer to the t r u t h . Scored at l e v e l 2, then, were a l l statements to the e f f e c t that there are no i r o n c l a d ways of knowing what to b e l i e v e or how to choose between competing knowledge claims. The d e f i n i n g feature of t h i s type of l e v e l 2 response i s , then, an acceptance of the t o t a l loss of p o s s i b l e o b j e c t i v i t y as a basis for r a t i o n a l choices, and the willingness to accept other a r b i t r a r y and nonrational strategies as a means of proceeding i n the absence of absolute t r u t h . 192 Distin g u i s e d from these sorts of non-rational coping strategies and c o n t r a - i n d i c a t i v e of a l e v e l 2 designation, were any suggesttions that i t might be p o s s i b l e to proceed r a t i o n a l l y despite the los s of a l l d i r e c t contact with the world as i t i s i n i t s e l f . Level 3: Post^Skeptical Rationalism: Learning to Procede i n the  Absence of Absolute Truth. The sort of r a t i o n a l r e s o l u t i o n strategies scored at l e v e l 3 were f i r s t of a l l grounded i n a l e v e l 2 acceptance of the r e l a t i v e nature of knowledge. At t h i s l e v e l , as at l e v e l 2, the f a c t that persons with i d e n t i c a l experiences often make d i f f e r e n t knowledge claims i s taken as confirmation of the f a c t that the knowing process i s n e c e s s a r i l y constructive and person r e l a t i v e . Unlike t h e i r l e v e l 2 counterparts, however, persons at l e v e l 3 do not despair of r a t i o n a l grounds for proceeding i n the face of such generic doubts but hold, instead, that the r e l a t i v e merits of d i f f e r i n g claims may be evaluated on r a t i o n a l grounds which need not be t i e d to any o b j e c t i v e or absolute understanding of the t r u t h . Consequently, any response which both acknowledged the e s s e n t i a l r e l a t i v i t y of knowledge and also went on to support the view that competing claims could s t i l l be evaluated i n terms of such things as i n t e r n a l consistency, v a l i d i t y , scope of coverage, or general s e n s i b i l i t y were scored at t h i s l e v e l . A s k e p t i c a l stance with regards to the disagreement i n the s t o r i e s was taken to be an e s s e n t i a l feature of responses scored at t h i s l e v e l . This r e s t r i c t i o n was necessary to avoid confusion between these and l e v e l 1 responses which focussed upon the subjective character of opinion but d i d not include the p o s s i b i l i t y that grounds might s t i l l e x i s t for sorting out good from bad opinions. APPENDIX D Objective Measure of Ego Identity Status Instructions and Sample Items 194 Objective Measure of Ego Identity Status (OM-EIS) Instructions Read each item and i n d i c a t e to what extent i t r e f l e c t s your own thoughts and f e e l i n g s . If a statement has more than one part, please i n d i c a t e your re a c t i o n to the statement as a whole. Indicate your answer by drawing a c i r c l e around one of the following choices. 6 = strongly agree 5 = moderately agree 4 = agree 3 = disagree 2 = moderately disagree 1 = strongly disagree 195 Sample OM-EIS Items i n Each Content Domain Ideological Domain Occupation D i f f u s i o n . I haven't chosen the occupation I r e a l l y want to get in t o , and I w i l l work at whatever i s a v a i l a b l e u n t i l something better comes along. Foreclosure. My parents decided a long time ago what I should go i n t o f o r employment and I'm going to follow through with t h e i r plans. Moratorium. I haven't decided what to do f o r an occupation. There are so many that have p o s s i b i l i t i e s . Achieved. It took me a while to f i g u r e i t out, but now I r e a l l y know what I want for a career. R e l i g i o n D i f f u s i o n . When i t comes to r e l i g i o n , I just haven't found anything that appeals and I don't r e a l l y f e e l the need to look. Foreclosure. I attend the same church my family has always attended. I've never r e a l l y questioned why. Moratorium. I'm not sure what r e l i g i o n means to me. I'd l i k e to make up my mind but I'm not done looking yet. Achieved. A person's f a i t h i s unique to each i n d i v i d u a l . I've considered and reconsidered i t myself and know what I can bel i e v e . P o l i t i c s D i f f u s i o n . I haven't r e a l l y considered p o l i t i c s . It just doesn't excite me much. Foreclosure. I guess I'm p r e t t y much l i k e my f o l k s when i t comes to p o l i t i c s . I follow what they do i n terms of voting and such. Moratorium. I'm not sure about my p o l i t i c a l b e l i e f s , but I'm t r y i n g to f i g u r e out what I can t r u l y b e l i e v e i n . Achieved. P o l i t i c s i s something that I can never be too sure about because things change so f a s t . But I do think i t ' s important to know what I can p o l i t i c a l l y stand for and beli e v e i n . Ph i l o s o p h i c a l : L i f e Style D i f f u s i o n . There i s no s i n g l e " l i f e s t y l e " that appeals to me more than another. Foreclosure. My parents' views on l i f e are good enough for me, I don't need anything e l s e . Moratorium. I'm looking f o r an acceptable perspective for my own " l i f e s t y l e " view, but I haven't r e a l l y found i t yet. Achieved. After considerable thought I've developed my own i n d i v i d u a l viewpoint of what i s for me an i d e a l " l i f e s t y l e " and don't believe that anyone w i l l be l i k e l y to change my perspective. 197 Interpersonal Domain Friendship D i f f u s i o n . I don't r e a l l y have any r e a l close f r i e n d s , and I don't think I'm looking for one r i g h t now. Foreclosure. I only pick f r i e n d s that my parents would approve of. Moratorium. There's a l o t of d i f f e r e n t kinds of people. I'm s t i l l exploring the many p o s s i b i l i t e s to f i n d the kind of f r i e n d s for me. Achieved. I've t r i e d many d i f f e r e n t friendships and now I have a clear idea of what I look for i n a f r i e n d . Dating D i f f u s i o n . I don't think about dating much. I just kind of take i t as i t comes. Foreclosure. I only go out with the kinds of people my parents expect me to date. Moratorium. I'm t r y i n g out d i f f e r e n t types of dating r e l a t i o n s h i p s . I just haven't decided what i s best for me. Achieved. Based on past experiences, I've chosen the type of dating r e l a t i o n s h i p I want now. ' Sex Roles D i f f u s i o n . I've never r e a l l y s e r i o u s l y considered men's and women's roles i n a r e l a t i o n s h i p (marriage). It just doesn't seem to concern me. Foreclosure. My ideas aboutg men's and women's ro l e s come r i g h t from my parents and family. I haven't seen any need to look f u r t h e r . • Moratorium. There's so many ways to d i v i d e r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s i n a r e l a t i o n s h i p (marriage), I'm t r y i n g to decide what w i l l work for me. Achieved. There are many ways that married couples d i v i d e up r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s . I've thought about l o t s of ways and now I know exactly how I want i t to happen for me. Recreation D i f f u s i o n . Sometimes I j o i n i n l e i s u r e a c t i v i t i e s , but I r e a l l y don't see a need to look for a p a r t i c u l a r a c t i v i t y to do r e g u l a r l y . Foreclosure. I've always l i k e d doing exactly the same r e c r e a t i o n a l a c t i v i t i e s as my parents do and I haven't s e r i o u s l y considered anything else. Moratorium. I've been t r y i n g out a v a r i e t y of r e c r e a t i o n a l a c t i v i t i e s i n hopes of f i n d i n g one or more I can enjoy for some time to come. Achieved. After t r y i n g a l o t of d i f f e r e n t r e c r e a t i o n a l a c t i v i t i e s I've found one or more I r e a l l y enjoy doing by myself or with f r i e n d s . Chandler, M. and Boyes, M.C. (1982) S o c i a l - c o g n i t i v e development. In B. Wolman ( E d . ) , Handbook of  developmental psychology, Englewood C l i f f s , N.J: Prent ice Hal 1. Wil l iams, T .M. and Boyes, M.C. (1986) Telev ison viewing patterns and the use of other media. In T.M. Wil l iams ( E d . ) , The impact of t e l e v i s o n : A natural experiment  in three communities. New York: Academic Press . Chandler, M., Boyes, M . C , B a l l , L . , and Hala, S. (1986) The conservation of se l fhood: A developmental ana lys is of c h i l d r e n ' s conceptions of s e l f - c o n t i n u i t y . In T.M. Honess and K.M. Yardley ( E d s . ) , S e l f and i d e n t i t y . London: Koutledge and Kegan P a u l . Chandler, M., Boyes, M . C , B a l l . L . , and Hala, S. (1986) Identity formation across the ages: A developmental ana lys is of the issues of cont inu i ty and commitment. The B r i t i s h Columbia Psycho log is t , 'I. Boyes, M.C. and Walker, L. ( in press , 1987) The impl icat ions of cu l tu ra l d i v e r s i t y for the u n i v e r s a l i t y claims of Kohlberg's theory of moral reasoning. Human  Development. 

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