Correlates of occupational and educational decision and indecision among college men

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Correlates of occupational and educational decision and indecision among college men

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by Clayton d *Armond Darken

A dissertation submitted in partial fulfillment of th© requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy* In the Department of Psychology In the Graduate College of the State University of Iowa June 1950

ProQuest Number: 10598590

All rights reserved INFORMATION TO ALL USERS The quality o f this reproduction is d e p e n d e n t upon th e quality o f the copy submitted. In the unlikely even t th at th e author did not send a co m p lete manuscript and there are missing pages, these will be noted. Also, if material had to b e rem oved, a note will indicate the deletion.

uest ProQuest 10598590 Published by ProQuest LLC (2017). Copyright o f the Dissertation is held by th e Author. All rights reserved. This work is protected against unauthorized copying under Title 17, United States C o d e Microform Edition © ProQuest LLC. ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway P.O. Box 1346 Ann Arbor, Ml 48106 - 1346

Pb^C-W'oqv^ T \ W 'b'blA C-op,£L

AQmmmmwmTB This investigation, suggested by Dean Dewey B* Stuit as a field in which research should prove useful, would have been impossible without the assistance and cooperation of m a y people*

Dean Stuit and Professor

Harold F* Beehtoldt listened underatandingly, encouraged kindly, and guided wisely,

Professor H. Clay Harshbarger

sad® son® of the basic date available and cooperated In many ways*

To 221 freshmen who entered the State

University of Iowa in September, 1947 the writer is also grateful for their willingness to complete - in almost all instances enthusiastically - a long and difficult questionnaire*

o* a*A* 0 *




14 AT#*«*•«♦

*■*■■*■-*•♦ ^


* ■*

the time students entered ♦ «■* -m* * * *• *

* * .*■«■*.

9 * ♦ « * * # * *'■#■ 3?

based on data available * ♦ * * * « •» * « * « « *


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♦ * -* * .* * « » *- -* * * » * * * • * • « * * * * * # ■ * * •■* * * « # * ■«O*

58 problem as an area future research ***** +*«•••*•«• 61 ♦ **#*■**.****■* * * * * * ** # * * * * * ® * * * * « *


71 *.*-*

# • * *










• •

* • *

* *




page I


Levels for the DECIDED and groups .....


II Distribution of Answers1* to 3 or Bejeoted by Students in tnd OT0EOIDED groups as Descri­ bing Family Attitudes toward their Abt ending 0ollege *•»»««• «•»• *••*•»»»•««« 8S

;* for DECIDED and # Heported lumbers of to Entering College that to Attend College was Made * 08 ofVocational Courses Completed by the BECH ^ D and UIDECXBKD Croup


Course in Vocations andDecision and Indecision about Educational and Vocational Plans


Students^ High Schools Sponsored ^Career Conferences” and later Decision and Indec ision about Educational and Vocational Flam of tbs Students.«•*••** 51 VII

Humber of Semester-activitles in High School Heported by Students in the DECIDED and OTDECIEED G r o u p s . < 33

VIII Belationship between Vocational and Educational Decision and Indecision and 54 XX Average lumbers of Different Jobs laid by Students In the DECIDED and DIDECIDED * m * 4 * » • 4 « «*«-'« « • a • • S 0 « « • ft i




between Attitudes toward ixperiences and Deo ision Indecision about Educational and Vbeat i m l Plans* #.**... *.**. ***■*..*#.. * XX

or Composite Entrance Test DECIDED and UNDECXDED t**>•■-*■♦*-«*#■•#****•.♦•*♦***•******** *


Responses by Students In the DECIDED and 0MDECIDE0 Croups to Questions about Fathers * Attitudes.**•*•..**..**.#*..**. 39 Itm m on a Problem Check List for which Students in DECIDED and UNDECIDED ©roups Felt the University Should Pro­ vide More Help for Entering Students.*** 41

XIV Analysis of the Results of Both Sections and Totals of two Series of Items Pro­ viding Opportunities for Expressions of Indecisiveness or Decisiveness in Familiar Choice Situations for DECIDED *.**.*.**.**,****... 46 of DECIDED and UNDECIDED Groups with reference to Partial or Complete during Two Academic Years* *. *. 49 MX

of numbers of Semester Hours of at the UniversItv by the DECIDED and OTBECIDBB Groups between September* X94T and 3UXy, 1949**#******* 50

Relationship between Academic Failure or Success as Measured by Probationary Status or its Avoidance and Membership in the DECIDED or UNDECIDED Groups****** 51 XVIII Comparison of Mean Grade Point Averages Earned by Students in the DECIDED and UNDECIDED Groups......**..*.*.*....*..*. 52 TTY mt Ai

of Numbers of Students In the and UNDECIDED Groups Achieving Grade Point Averages Acceptable for 55


of Numbers of Students In the



Although th© attitude is in large part unverbalized, meat college students and their parents behave as if the primary motive for seeking college training is to improve the students1 employability and future social and economic status*

School publications, college catalogs, pamphlets,

books, and charts available in constantly increasing numbers emphasise the desirability of studentsf choosing training and oooupstloB&l goals consonant with their abilities, interests, and backgrounds*

Students are urged to make

their plans in terms of relationships existing between curricular offerings on the on© hand and occupational demands on the other* Ordinarily the liberal arts college student chooses his departmental major because it has, for him, occupational significance of some sort* Whether the departmental major provides pre-professional training or undergraduate special­ isation toward an objective is irrelevant! in either instance the choice of a major is one very Important step which pre­ sumably brings the student closer to the goal of his choice* In addition, educators and laymen alike seem to believe that the choosing df an occupational goal leads, in some manner as yet unexplained, to an increase in th© student’s motivation


to attain feettar scholarship than he would otherwise achieve* Publications of various colleges and universities ( 8 * 15, 2© ) P > o10























,20 > P> ,10 ,0004 *9 9 ^ ? ^ *98


It might reasonably be supposed that students with definite academic and vocational plans would b© those who had been anticipating attending college for a longer period of time than students undecided about their plans*. Distributions for both groups showing the years prior to entering the University the decision was made that the student was going to college are skewed to the right* III presents the data®


28 Table III Distributions Showing, for DECIDED and TJNDECIDBD Groups, Reported lumbers of Tears Prior to Entering College that the Pee is ion to Attend College was Mad© * Number of years *i©r to 1947 0 1 2 5 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 15 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 Mean




I * 19 10 16 6 5 13 3 7

K 4 2

3 2 1 1 I 2



4 1

1 1 2

1 5 2

5 6 1 2

1 5 1

1 6*38 yrs*

8*47 years

F Z 1*527, with degrees of freedom 93 and 253* The difference between the means is significant at the *05 level* 0 ^ OT

Agrees of freedom

and 2 ng pg ,

2 nx

Xs2 where Xs^ Z mean of sample, and where Pj_ -


2 , with the


Conferences not held



These last described educational functions may be considered, from on© point of view, attempts by high schools to recognize the desirability of students* preparing them« aelves for and learning about ways of earning a living* From the data available in this study it would seem as If none of these contributes to increasing the likelihood that students who have had such experiences make earlier or more consistent decisions about either college work or vocational plans• Extracurricular experiences during high school, even though those experiences might well be expected to "broaden th© horizons” of the participants, apparently do

52 not increase the likelihood of students9 making early decisions about future plane of the sort with which this study is concerned,

fo the extent that any difference at

all Is measurable, it would seem as though indecision tends to be associated with extracurricular activities, as measured by average numbers of semester-activities•

Of course, to

the extent that higher socio-economic status frees the student to spend time and money for extracurricular activities, and to the extent that this status seems to characterise the OTIEOIDBB group, the relationship found is understandable, fable V1X summarizes the findings for the two groiips.


Table VII Humber of Semester-activities^in High School Reported by Students in the DECIDED and UNDECIDED Groups. Mean number of sem.-activities DECIDED group


In school for less than 4 semesters




50 It will be noticed that 80*3$ of the DECIDED group and B0€ of the UNDECIDED group remained in school for at least four semesters*

By the above criterion of academic

achievement, then, the DECIDED group wag not superior to the UNDECIDED group*

It would seem, parenthetically, that the

mortality rate for both groups is considerably below oftenquoted figures obtained from other universities. With reference to the second criterion of academic success, for each of the two groups th© mean number of sem­ ester hours earned during residence in school was calculated* See Table XVI* Table XVI Comparison of lumbers of Semester Hours of Credit Earned at the University by the DECIDED and UNPEOIDE!) Croups between September* 1947 and July, 1949* Mean no® of sem* hrs.











F Z 1* 452 d.f Z 116,29



Neither t nor F is significant at usually accept­ able levels of confidence* Although the DECIDED group earned, on the average, more credits at the University during the fcwo-aca&emic-yoar

51 period* th© difference was not statistically significant* By this second criterion of success* then* the groups are not differentiated* Examination of the data in Table XVII discloses that a considerably smaller proportion of the DECIDED group was placed on f,scholastic probation** during four semesters of school than was true of the UHDBGIDED group*


for being placed on probation at th© University during the period of time covered by this report were not clearly defined quantitativelyj It was the policy of the Liberal Arts College to consider each case on its merits.

There Is

no reason to suppose* however, that adherence to this pro­ cedure would penalise the students In one group more than those in the other* Table XVII Relationship between Academic Failure or Success as Measured by Probationary Status or its Avoidance and Membership In the DECIDED or TTHDECIDFD Croups* DEC IDFD group Humber placed on probation Humber not placed on probation


UlfDEC IDED group



15 4.919 •05> P > *02



Grade point averages (ratios between honor points earned and semester hours attempted) wore calculated ior each

52 student in each or the two groups , and distributions were made«

Table XVIII compares the two groups* Table XVIII

Comparison of Mean Grade Point Averages Earned by Students in the DECIDED and UDDECIDED Groups* Mean Grade Point Average












F Z 1 135** df * 116,29


* F Is not significant at usually acceptable levels of confidence* t Is significant at the #05 level of confidence It is to be noted that the two groups differ, and that the DECIDED group has superior scholarship as measured by this criterion, although the difference may not be accepted as of sufficient significance to warrant general conclusions of superiority# To a limited extent, of course, grades earned by a group of students would be inversely related to the pro­ portion of the group which might have been placed on proba­ tion for low scholarship*

This need not necessarily be so,

but in most situations it would be anticipated#

To the

extent these are unrelated, however, It may be worth

mentioning that two somewhat Independent measures of scholar** ship exist for each of the two groups*

Since the DECIDED

group is superior to the TJTOECIBID group on both criteria* this lends support to the hypothesis that scholarship of the former group--Is superior to that of the latter® In the Interests of comparing scholarship for the two groups from as many points of view as possible* two Ghl square tests were computed for th© groups®

One fourfold

table compares numbers In each of the two groups achieving above and below a 2,00 (*Cf!} average - that which was required for graduation during the period of the study,


other table compares numbers in each group achieving above and below the Liberal Arts College grade point average for men* which approximates 2,259

Table XIX presents the data

for the first test, and Table XX for th© second.* Table XIX Comparison of Numbers of Students in the DECIDED and UllDECIDEB Groups Achieving Grade Point Averages Acceptable for Graduation* DECIDED group


Humber attaining 2,00 average or above (PASS)



Humber attaining grade point average below 2,00 (PAlit)



Chi square

,1588 .70 > P >.60

54 Table XX Comparison of Numbers of Students In the DECIDED and UNDECIDED Groups Achieving Grades Above and Below the Approximate Mean for Men In the Liberal Arts College. DECIDED group


Number attaining 8,25 average or better



Number attaining below 2*25 average



Chi square

6.927 P ( .01

Both groups9 it Is seen, are undifferentiated as far as proportions of students attaining grades acceptable for graduation are concerned®

Yet a significantly smaller

proportion of the UNDECIDED group achieves grades above the average of the men In the college In which they are enrolled* When various criteria of scholarship are taken into consideration, it would seem as if the DECIDED group Is composed of students who tend to make better grades than students who are undecided about their educational and vocational plans.

In no sense is there evidence that this

reflects the operation of greater motivation for academic achievement.

Possibly students who have definite goals are

better able to appraise the quality of scholastic competition, particularly for the professional schools; if this Is reasonable It might be inferred that to some extent scholastic

55 achievement may relate to behavior in the presence of felt anxiety9

It Is certain that other possible T,reasonsn could

be hypothesised to account for the superior scholarship of the DECIDED group* but in this Investigation available data do not permit tests of the above nor of other hypotheses of this sort*

56 Chapter Y SUMMARY Aim G OHO 1.03XOHS CE1BHAL SUMMARY In suxnmarlzlng the results of the Investigation it may he helpful first to compare the two groups on some of the factors with which the study has been concerned for which

differences were found*

With reference to most types of

variables for which data were available no important differ** ences were obtained*

Some few differences were statistically

significant* and some others* although not highly significant* were of real interest and value In attempting to understand the two groups*

The first list* below* outlines briefly

differences between the two groups about which It was poss­ ible to be quit© confident* Students in the DECIDED group

Students in the UNDECIDED group

Felt more need for counseling about personal problems

Were members of families with higher educational attainments

Earned better grades

Rad planned on college training over a longer period of time Had more outside work exper­ iences prior to entering college Felt more need for counseling xvith reference to occupational goals Wore* in larger proportion* placed on scholastic probation

57 On tfe© second list* below* the two groups are compared with reference to differences about which less confidence may exist* but for which there is some reasonable evidence « Students In th© DECIDED group

Students in the UNDECIDED group

Felt their families were Interested in their success in special fields of work

Were members of families with higher soeio-eeonomis status

Decided on their fields of Interest approximately 3~J years before they entered college Reported greater Interest in their outside work experiences Felt* in larger proportions* that their fathers were happy in their own jobs Earned more semester hours of college credit

Felt their families believed college was socially desirable Participated* during high school* in more extracurricular activities Claimed* in greater proportion* to have had ^vocational guid­ ance tests* during high school Felt more need for talking over relationships between college courses and occupations with a counselor Felt mor© need for talking over problems of selecting a major with a counselor

With some of the exceptions of interest noted on the two lists above* the hypotheses outlined in Chapter II seem tenable ones*

Within the limits of the areas about

which Inform®tion was obtained* and within the limits Imposed by the sizes and composition of the samples avail­ able —

samples which were chosen because it was believed

that differences* If any* would be more easily identifiable


If two homogeneous groups wore .compared —

few significant

differences between the DECIDED and the UNDECIDED groups were obtained. CmOLUSIGIIS The results of the Investigation* by and large, seem to be at variance with ^common sensetf and with the thinking of many advisors* counselors9 and college adminis­ trators who mist be concerned with the academic and voca­ tional planning problems of college men.


TUIDECIDED groups show so many more likenesses than differ­ ences Mien they are compared in terms of a wide variety of variables that It would be reasonable to assume In many instances they were chosen at random from the same general population,* It is possible that comparison of larger groups «*« particularly comparison of a larger UNDECIDED group of 100 or so,. If they are available* with a group of approxi­ mately the same siz® who were definitely decided about their future plans —

might yield data from which proba­

bilities could be more confidently established.


may well be that since the UNDECIDED group comprised only Semen* small but consistent differences were obscured In some fashion.

It might be argued that the consistent use of

Yates’s correction for Chi sKja&re tables was unwise*


59 in many instances an uncorrected Ghl square was calculated and compared with th© corrected values, with the result that toe probability levels were not perceptibly different. Since to© follow-up data indicated a large propertlon of the UNDECIDED group was still undecided about plans for departmental major or occupation at th© end. of two years of college work, it is difficult to assume that the problem of indecision is only a temporary one or one which will be alleviated as a result ©f the broadening effects of two years of general liberal arts education..

Only a long***term follow-

up study for, say, 10 or 15 years may yield somewhat final answers to questions about the differential achievement and occupational adjustment of the two groups,

Sisson (17), it

will be recalled, found no evidence of subsequent difficulty in occupational adjustment of men who were initially undecided about their vocational plans, From the standpoint of psychological theory, the results of most interest concern relationships between reported decision and indecision in the areas in which the student personnel worker is particularly interested, and reported decisiveness and Indecisiveness in other situations. Certainly little was found in this study to warrant believing that indec is ion«dec is ion is a generalized trait or factor, Relationships* as estimated from tetraehoric correlations, between indecision on certain items in the f*testtt and


indecision about educational and vocational plans were positive for 29 items; yet for the same number of items, logically a© different from th© others, the relationship was a negative one*

Inter'-item correlations were not cal­

culated inasmuch as the tttest" was not designed to be a predictive device but rather a collection of questions or Items with regard to which It was possible for th© respondents t© b© decided ©r undecided* It is difficult to discover from Inspection the types of situations, selected from th© sample of 60 Items, in which indecision was very consistently correlated with Indecision about educational and vocational plans.


necessity, the Items to which responses of decision or indecision might be expressed needed to relate to situations with which all of th© respondents were familiar or to which they could respond easily and naturally and which required little highly speclallBed knowledge or background,


Ination of the items with the greatest absolute tetraehoric correlations with the criterion { |*2o| and over) would lead one to suppose the Items of most value were those related to school situations of one sort or another.

Yet upon more

careful examination one would discover that other Items concerning school situations had little or no relationship with th© criterion, and that, as a matter of fact, the great meJority of the 60 items were related to chole© situations

61 In school or educational settings#

These were considered

to be the types of items with which the experimenter could he almost certain th© respondents would he familiar* One of the important findings concerned the fact that students who were undecided about their future plan® did not feel the need of counseling about personal problems* A conclusion which is almost inescapable, within the limits of the study as carried out, is that educational and voca­ tional Indecision is not necessarily symptomatic of felt problems in other areas*

If this is additionally supported

by comparable studies it would possibly mean that vocational counseling as it is done professionally now in colleges and universities need not utilize the same types of counseling techniques that are used in personal counseling directed at increasing peoples1 insights into their behavior dynamics# Possibly counseling which supplies the UBDECIDED student with more information about himself and about various occupational and training fields, and which provides oppor­ tunity for the student to nthink out loud” with a counselor about his plans, may be as effective as longer-term types of counseling provided the problem is mainly on© of educational and vocational indecision unencumbered by other serious problems* the

p r e s e n t prob l e m as a n area for f u t u r e re s e a r c h

Sine© students, laymen, and educators alike are


convinced that th® setting up of educational and vocational goal® I# desirable, th© problems and correlates of indecision deserve more searching attention and investigation than have been possible in this research*

Although with reference to

atany variables which would seem important th© DEO IDED and UHDEOIDBD groups were much more alike than different, it is nevertheless true that with reference to the question of future goals they did differ*

Students In one group had

specific goals; those In the other did not*

It is reasonable

to suppose that In sam© as yet unknown areas other signifi­ cant differences must exist, or that problems of indecision about these sorts of goals are Illusory*

A M It is difficult

to accept th© latter hypothesis, however attractive It might be, and however It may seem supported by the present research* Perhaps the problems in this area which it would b© most rewarding to investigate m y not b© decision and inde­ cision, but rather problems related to goal determination of a broad and general type*

$ow that it is possible to

evaluate the present research perhaps the conclusion can be mad© that the wrong questions were asked*

Possibly types

of investigation which could give an experimenter some Insight Into personality differences might permit the tenta­ tive identification or isolation of the dynamics of goalsetting or goal-striving behavior, or could relate various sorts of aspiration-determining variables*

65 In the present study* meat of th© information obtained about the subjects was characterized by three featuress

X* it was obtained in situations which war© highly

structured; 2* it was the sort of information which could be rather easily quantified or counted; and 5, the information was almost exclusively of a verbal or reported nature*


is well to remember* of course* that decision and indecision about educational and vocational goals were also determined on the basis of verbal reports®

At the moment it is diff­

icult to devise any other means of determining these facts* Conceivably situations of an unstructured (proj­ ective* for Instance) sort could permit an experiment©r to tease out Important attitudes* response sets, or consis­ tencies in thinking* affect* or overt behavior which might relate to decision and indecision about th© subjects® plans and goals®

Bata such as might be obtained by these procedures

would not necessarily conflict with data and results obtained by methods used in the present research, since presumably the subjects could have greater freedom for responding than was possible In this investigation® It would also probably be worth while to test hypotheses that students definite about educational and occupational plans are characterized by certain anxieties or Insecurities, or by compulsions to conform to certain poorly defined but nevertheless keenly felt pressures of a

64 socially determined nature*

A corollary hypothesis would*

of ©ours®* hold that students undecided about comparable plans are self-sufficient enough to feel little necessity to make long term plans or to respond in a customarily socially acceptable manner to questions asked about future plans# It may also be worth while to hypothesize that in somewhat the same sense in which the economist talks about an weconomic man” there is* with reference to educational situations* an nacademic man”#

This nacademic man” may be

sensitive to the demands of school life in much greater degree than classmates of equivalent ability who feel no great necessity to conform to demands for high scholarship or to insistence that they decide to specialize in fields which are largely determined by academic mores and customs# If this were acceptable* it might partially account for the obvious fact there Is no one-to-one rela­ tionship between scholarship and subsequent success* however measured*

This hypothesis might also partially account for

the later successes of men and of women who made mediocre grades in college (when working on academic problems), but who* confronted with the problems of what they might call the ^real world”* could be motivated to achievements which would have been completely unpredictable from knowledge of their grades•

It might be possible in rather rough fashion

to identify some students as "academic men” and some* of

65 equal ability and potential drive, as 11practical men", who work moat effectively only under the pressures of practical* self-imposed problems in the presence of which potential ability is translated into actual ability to achieve, Possibly other research relating occupational decision and indecision to personality structure would be worth while*

For Instance* it is certainly tenable to

hypothesize that students who have made definite decisions a about their plans may be those whose goals and thinking are rather stereotyped and perhaps somewhat rigidly established and inflexible even in th© face of improbability of achieve** ment* whereas those students who remain undecided may be more adaptable to changing demands of their environments*


occupationally undecided students subsequently comprise in large part those groups of men who, possessing versatility and catholicity of interests rather than narrow specialization* and tending to be responsive Instead of rigid* see new cohbinations of problems to be solved and new ways of approaching old problems*

Some men do become pioneers in

the professionalization of occupations* or develop new occupations to meet changing needs of society or of the organizations with which they become affiliated. It would also be useful to examine* by use of follow-up data and possibly unstructured responses of those undecided about their goals, whether or not Indecision ie as


much of a problem as it is felt to be by observers*


ators and counselors accustomed to thinking that behavior should be goal-directed may possibly* in the presence of ongoing behavior for which no verbally deacribable objectives or stated goals are immediately claimed* experience diffi­ culty in understanding the essential normality of that behavior for some students*

Problems of indecision may be

assumed to exist where actually none is felt* More attention in future research should undoubt­ edly be given to investigating the problems of students whose goals change from time to time*

Possibly the student who

changes from one objective to another is driven at least partially by externally imposed necessity to make decisions, but who finds it impossible to pursue a particular goal consistently*

In a very real sense, this type of student

is "mal&d justed’** —

Society, parents, classmates, the school

all insist that he make a decision which he Is not ready

or able to make*

He responds in the only way which, for

him, Is possible*

He sets up a goal (makes a decision)

which Is only a palliative measure % It reduces th© immed­ iately felt tensions*

In many instances it is probable that

the person who

makes these sorts of decisions, If thusthey

may be called,

Is well aware of the fact he is "treating

symptoms11, and

that although he has ostensibly decided

goal, actually

he has merelymade an expedient gesture

on a

67 which, for th© moment, is appropriate or rewarding* Conceivably if this sort of process occurs, and if conditions essentially comparable to those described above are established by research, it would seem as if this type of student should b© identifiable*

It would seem that

this kind of undecided (vacillating) student Is more likely to exhibit personality deviations than either the totally undecided student who Is not at all responsive to demands that he make decisions, or the student who has his life quite well organized in terms of goals which he finds acceptable and toward which he can strive with satisfaction*


Bennett, George K* Dr* Link's answer to Drw Lyman* School and Society*, 1940, 51 , 749-751*


Che sire., Leone, Saffir, Milton,, and Thurston©, Louis L. OcwTO-felng Diagrams for th© Tetraehoric Correlation gooff lolent * Chicago s T h l w r sl ty ofChicago Fastlager, Leon* A statistical test for means of samples from skew populations* Payehoaetrika. 1943, 8,


Gregory, Wilbur S* Manual for the Gregory Academic Interest Inventory* Beverly Hills, California* Sheridan Supply Company, 1946*


Gregory, Wilbur S* Data regarding th© reliability and validity of the Academic Interest Inventory* Educational and Psychological Measurement. 1946. ~ — — — ------


Hieror^mus, Albert I* ''Relationship between Anxiety for Education and Certain Socio-Economic Variables” • Unpublished ?h* B* dissertation, State University of Iowa, 1944*


Hoffman, E* L», and Stephens, B* H, A comparative study of college freshmen with different interest areas* Proceedings of the Oklahoma Academy of Science0


Hunter College* What to Do in the World's Work* Hew York? Hunter SolXeg© oY~tE©CiVy of Uew York, 1945*


Hatz, Daniel, and Allport, Floyd H* Student Attitudes* Syracuse, H* Y*s The Craftsman Press,'"~i§5T*' Kuder, G* Frederic, and Richardson* Marlon W« The theory of estimation of test reliability* Paychometrika* 1937, 2, 151-160*


Link, Henry C* More Education or a Job* 1938, 52, 15-17



Lyman* 1* Th© Personnel Aspect of Educational Selection* School and Society, 1939, 50, 210-213



Marshall, M* V., and Simpson, S. W, Vocational choice and college grades * Journal of Educational Research, 1943 , 37 , 3TJS3H5S7 '


Mueller, Kate H«, and Mueller, John H* Socio-economic background of women students at Indiana University* Educational and Psychological Measurement „ 1949, 9 , 521-029*


The Ohio State University. Ohio State and Occupations* Columbus, Ohios The Ohio State University Press, 1946*

16 o

Proctor, W* 1* Intelligence and length of schooling In relation to occupational levels® School and Society, 1935, 42 , 783-786. --- ------------


Sisson, Donald* The predictive value of vocational choices of college students. School and Society, 1958, 47, 464-468. ------- --- — -


Sisson, Donald* On Dr* Link?s reply to Dr. Lyman* School anj Society, 1940, 52, 306-307.


Sparling, Edward J. Do College Students Choose Vocations Wisely? Hew YorSET "Mureau off Publications, ¥©acii©rs College, Columbia University, 1955.


Stephens College* Occupational Planning for College Women* Columbia, Missourii Stephens Publishing ‘ Company, 1946,


Strang, Ruth* Behavior and Background of Students in College anff Secondary School, lew Yorks Harper and Brothers,' 1957*


Stubblns, Joseph. Lack of realism In vocational choice. Occupations, 1948, 26, 410-418.


Webb, Wllse B. students,


Weeks, Helen F* Factors Influencing Choice of Courses by Students In "Wria'fn^hlberax^Artg^lTeges. few ^or¥s Suriau of PubXicat’ions j ‘Feathers^Goliege , 0 d u m b la Univers Ity , 1931,


Williamson, Edmund G» How to Counsel Students. Hew Yorkj MeOraw-Hill Book 0ompany

Occultional Indecision among college Occupations, 1949, 27, 551-352*

Tim H&ture of a liberal College. WieconsTnV UawFence College Press,



Introductory note given to each student attending the meeting of "representative freshmen” in September* 1947,*


Copy ©f the questionnaire administered to

students attending meeting of "representative freshmen" in September* 1947*



liar Student: You have doubtless been warned many times that any university as large as yours la too big and too impersonal to care anything - or even know anything - about its students, especially those who are just getting started. Some people have told you that y o u 're just on a huge educational assembly line, and that your instructors are likely to approach their teaching with a "take it or leave it" sort of attitude. Those who have warned you have confused bigness and efficiency and good scholar­ ship with coldness and impersonality and lack of human values. The fact that there are about ten thousand students here means mainly that the people on the staff who are your advisors and counselors have to be expert in their fields, instead of try­ ing to be all things to all people. And they are trying to improve their expertness. One of the advantages of bigness is that the University can try to get a real pic­ ture of what its students are like, and what they want — what their needs are, and their plans for the future — what can be done in a planned way, instead of haphaz­ ardly, to make your educational experiences meaningful to you. Those are reasons you are asked, as a selected group of representative freshmen students, to meet here and let the University find out more about you. The results of the questionnaires you are about to take will help the liberal Arts College and the Advisory Office try to meet your needs with concrete planning. If you want, think of this session as a sort of super Gallup Poll — super because it's obviously longer and requires more thinking than anything Dr. Gallup could get away with. But in the final analysis, your cooperation and your honesty on the questionnaire will help make education at your University better for you and for many freshman classes to come. As you fill out the items on the survey form, try to be as honest with yourself as possible. Look at yourself as if you were looking at, and describing, another person — a person about whom you know all the facts and about whom you want to report those facts as facts. If there are questions you strongly object to answering, leave them blank instead of writing down information which might give a wrong im­ pression, Otherwise fill in every space which applies to you. As far as the results of the questionnaire are concerned, you will just be a statistic I Every single item which could identify you is held in strict confidence. No future reference will be made to your answers j no future conference can ever refer to your answers — for the simple reason that as soon as the information is tabulated the papers will be destroyed. No records will be kept about you. The College doesn't want, on this occasion, to find out about you as Bill Jones or Susie Smith; it definitely does want to find out about you (plural) as entering freshman students. The reason you are asked to give your name is that in addition to the facts you live us, we want to get information from the Registrar's Office about you — your high school work, your entrance exams, where you were born, and so forth. If we asked you to give us all the information which will eventually be needed, you would he writing for several hours. The only reason for asking your names is to tie up *hat you give us today with other facts about you. The facts are confidential, and *ill-remain so. Thank you for your time and effort, and for your willingness to be a Represent tative Freshman. Sincerely yours, The Liberal Arts College Advisory Office

THE IOUA FKESHTAN SURVEY - 1947 Part X Directions* Items, in many instances, can be answered by encircling a number or let­ ter or word or abbreviation. For instance, after the item "Sex" is an "M" and an nFtt; encircle the "M" if male, the WF" if female. DO NOT ANSWER ANY ITEM BY UNDER­ LINING. On many items you will encircle a "YES" or "NO" or "DK" (,!DKn means "DON’T KNOW") to indicate your answer. For many items an "x" in the proper place answers the item* On some few items you may have to write in a few words. An attempt has been made to make the survey as easy to fill out as possible; please help make it easy to tabulate by following directions. If directions for any item are not clear, re-read them carefully. If they still are not clear, raise your hand and we!11 help*.


Age last




Sex years months

Widowed ___

Divorced ...^


Please give the following family data as completely as possible f REUTIONSHIP j TO YOU



! EDUCATION i(highest grade completed

!Father Mother *■

«s>-•?- ■

tfi-* -fvf

- fSf-*

Older brother Older brother Older sister Older sister Wife or Husband Describe briefly your father’s duties in his present occupation, (If not living, des­ cribe last occupation before his death)

In what occupations, other than the above, has your father worked during the last ten years? List them below, and indicate the length of time spent in each. .

Number of years... ..... Number of years Number of years

. _:r

Number of years---What is your family’s (parents') approximate income per year?

$ -- -

* *




110 DK'







Does he feel he could be happier and still as well off in some other job?YES



Does he feel you should

have a better job than he has?*




■« YJ5



Do you feel your father

works harder than most men do?,




* ±FS.



Do you feel your father is happy in his work? *


Does your father feel he should have a better job?.



Place an "x" after those organizations to ihich your father belongs: 71 A Business Men's Organization Chamber of Commerce __ Union A Service Club (Rotary,Lions ) ___

A Professional Org'n.(Med.,Dental,etc) ___

A Farmers * Org'n* or Coop. ___

A Fraternal Oj-g'n. (Mason, KofC,MICA,etc ) __

In what year was the decision made that you would go to college f * .*



In what year was the decision made that you would attend




U I ?


If you have already chosen your major, in what year did you decide to major in your present field of interest? * * * * * * * In what field do you intend to major for your d e g r e e ? _______ _ (If you are postponing deciding, go to next item you can answer)



________ __

Generally speaking, are you satisfied with your choice of a major field




Before you came to S U I, with which ones of the following did you talk over your plans for taking college courses? Place an "xn after correct ones. Parents

School Sup't.

HS Principal


HS Classmates

What others?

HS Counselor

HS Teachers


_______ __

After checking the above, go back and put another "x" after the one most helpful. How ( ( ( ( ( ( ( ( ( (

does your family feel about your going to college? Check answers with "x’s"» ) They want you to take advantage of cultural aspects of college work ) They are interested in your success in a special field of work ) They are very interested in your getting a degree ) They feel college Is socially desirable ) They insist you go, almost against your own wishes ) They feel you might as well go to school, since you can’t get a good job ) They believe you should go to school, since they didn'thave a chance to go ) They are basically opposed to your going to college ) They disagree as to advantages of your going, to college ) Any other? . . ...... .

How long do you plan to continue in college?


What are your plans for financial support in college? Check answer or v/rite in. Parents Part self-support Total self-support GI Bill or Rehab Think back over the courses you took in high school. Write the name of the best course you ever had on line 1, below. On line 5 v/rite the worst or most useless course you had in high school. Now write the name of the course you consider half way between the best and the worst on line 3. Then on line Z write the name of a course distinctly above average, but not the best, and on line 4 one definitely below average, but not the worst. Follow the directions carefully. 1. The b e s t

--- --

5. The worst . . r.: .. -........... ~ In your high school you undoubtedly knew a teacher who was considered by all the students to be "tops0 . What subjects did this teacher teach? Use line below,. Tou probably also knew of a teacher who had the reputation o± being the .\orst liked, What subjects: did this teacher teach? Use line below.

Read the following directions, and those below the scale, until you are certain you understand them. They are rather complex, but easy to follow once you know them. On the horizontal line below is a scale and still made top grades, you might numbered from 1 to 10, and right below check that one'vdth a !,10M, Our scale, the scale are typical descriptions of the in other words, is a sort of ruler or ways students feel about courses. For in­ yardstick we might use to measure how stance, if you were constantly afraid you you felt about your courses in high were going to fail a course in high sch­ school. Only — instead of using inches ool, you'd probably check that course or feet we have used a different unit of with a "1" to indicate how you felt. Or, measurement: your attitudes and feel­ if a course was tough enough to keep you ings about courses you have had in the studying regularly, but you could handle past, Be sure you understand how to use it all right, you might check that course our Mruler" before going on down the with a "5". Or, if a course was a "pipe" page to the next part of this item. for you, and you never "cracked a book1'1, Here is our scale:

4 So difficult I often feared I'd fail, despite my constant study

So hard that I ^Difficult enough had to study all to keep me stud­ the time or be ying rather reg­ "left behind" ularly

Easy enough so that only occasional studying was necessary

Now, read the instructions to the left, below, which tell you how to you have just read about. Again, be sure you understand them. Directions: On the right we have named var~ ious high school courses or fields of school work, In the square after each write a num­ ber, describing as accurately as you can how you GENERALLY felt about courses in the field named. If your feelings about spec­ ific courses in a field ranged, say, from "5" to "9",'write do^/n an average — "6", perhaps. Or, if in another field your feel­ ings ranged from "1" to "6", for instance, write down an average, ,r3jft. Try to think back and be as honest as possible in re­ calling how you felt about the courses when you took them. Things now, perhaps, look much brighter than they did when you were working on the courses. Or, perhaps things were always easy for you. Try to think back through your high school career. How did you usually feel about your courses when you were taking them? Write the proper num­ bers in the squares.

So easy 1'or me that I got good grades vdthout studying the scale

SOCIAL STUDIES - History, Civics, Economics, Socio­ logy, Government, etc, SCIENCES - General Science, Chemistry, Physics, Bio­ logy, etc. VOCATIONAL COURSES - Shop, Woodworking, Agriculture, Typing, Bookkeeping, etc. ENGLISH - Literature, Gram­ mar, Speech, Journalism, Writing, etc. I'lATHEHATXCS - Algebra, Bus­ iness Ilath, Geometry, Trigonometry, etc. SPECIAL COURSES - Consumer Problems, RCTC, Occup­ ations, Crafts, etc. 'LANGUAGES - French, Ger­ man, Spanish, Latin, or others.

What high school course led you to do the most extra work, on your own, for your own satisfaction - scrap library work, research,r- etc.? ■ •--'■*;■ books, ’ if ....... What were your outside activities and offices held in high school? Write them from 1 to 6 in the order of your preference. Show how many semesters you were active.










. _

— sems

Place an »x" after each of the following groups to which you belonged during high school. Scouts 4H or FFA HS Fraternity Church young people^ Yi: or YY.'CA _

Show your preferences and extent of participation (much or little) in present types of leisure time activities, hobbies, social activities, etc. In other words, what do you do in your spare or leisure time? Vilhat kind of leisure reading?____________ ____________________________________ In what hobbies are you a c t i v e ? _____ ,_________ _____________ ,___ _________ What games or sports?


What social a c t i v i t i e s ? _ .... Most high school students take somewhat typical patterns of academic courses, but various types of vocational or industrial education courses, If you had any vocat­ ional courses, show length of time in them, and your interests. Use nx rs,!. t



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IAuto Mechanics

i Woodworking |Mechanical Drawing * * r jfc '+•