ERIC Number: ED026952
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1965-Mar-12
Reference Count: 0
Dispositional Differences Between Technology and Liberal Arts Majors.
Trent, James W.; Athey, Irene J.
Engineering is a profession likely to attract the individual who seeks direct, sure lines to follow in life where he can avoid the tension of ambiguous or novel ideas, the sensitive encounters of interpersonal relations, and can derive satisfaction from tangible accomplishments. The supposition is that this individual, regardless of ability or social class, is attracted to engineering more than to non-technical professions and is relatively restricted in the roles he identifies with and in his life style. To explore this contention, the personality characteristics and reported opinions of engineering majors were investigated in order to compare their modes of thinking and attitudes with those observed among liberal arts majors. Several attitudinal scales were administered to graduates in 1959 and 1963 and scores were computer to yield measures of intellectual disposition, manifest anxiety, and autonomous, open and flexible thinking. The engineering and liberal arts majors, all of whom had persisted in college 4 years, were then compared on these measurements. Opinions expressed through questionnaire responses were also compared. Each of the study's hypotheses--most of which were related to the less intellectual and less flexible nature of the engineering major--was supported by the data observed. Selected data are contained in the attached tables. (JS)
Publication Type: N/A
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: California Univ., Berkeley. Center for the Study of Higher Education.
Note: Paper presented at annual conference of the California Educational Research Association, March 12, 1965.