The relationship between ethical sensitivity, high ability and gender in higher education students

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This study examined the ethical sensitivity of high-ability undergraduate students (n=731) in the Netherlands who completed the 28-item Ethical Sensitivity Scale Questionnaire (ESSQ) developed by Tirri & Nokelainen (2007; 2011). The ESSQ is based on Narvaez' (2001) operationalization of ethical sensitivity in seven dimensions. The following research question was explored and subjected to a Mann-Whitney U Test: Are there any differences in ethical sensitivity between (1) academically average and high-ability students, and (2) male and female students? The self-assessed ethical sensitivity of high-ability students was higher than that of their average-ability peers. Furthermore, female students scored higher on 'taking the perspectives of others'. These results imply that programs for high-ability students incorporating ethical issues could build upon characteristics of this group.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)39-49
JournalGifted and talented international
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 2014



  • ethical sensitivity
  • higher education
  • academic achievement
  • high ability

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