The Background of the study is determined by the importance of information exchange for adolescent moral development, in particular the role of cognitive processing of social information (CPI) for the development of moral consciousness.
The Objective of the study was to investigate the relationship between the level of moral development of adolescents and the Internet CPI. The Hypothesis of the study: the features of moral sensitivity and the level of development of moral judgments in adolescents provide background to different stages of cognitive processing of social information on the Internet.
Methods and sampling. The study used the following methods: «Justice – Care» method (S.V. Molchanov) aimed at identifying the level of development of moral judgments was used; the author’s method of identifying the level of moral sensitivity, the method of cognitive processes of assessing social information on the Internet; Yanoff-Bulman scale of basic beliefs (modified By M. A. Padun and A.V. Kotelnikova). The study involved 208 adolescents aged 13-18 years (48% males and 52% females).
Results. On the basis of the cluster analysis, two groups of adolescents were identified – individuals with a high level of development of moral judgments and high moral sensitivity and individuals with a low level of development of moral judgments and heterogeneous moral sensitivity. Moral sensitivity determines how much the subject is aware of the moral content of problem situations. Adolescents with a high level of moral development are characterized by a strong belief in the justice of the world and the experience of the value and significance of their own Self. Differences in cognitive processing of social information are revealed. Adolescents with a high level of moral development are more focused on the choice of response behaviour, taking into account its possible consequences and assessing self-efficacy in the process of social interaction in the Internet space. Adolescents with a low level of moral development are more focused on the interpretive stage of social information analysis, where the task is to understand the moral content of the situation and highlight the moral conflict.