The underlying “architecture of the decision to pursue a degree in psychology was quantified using the Method of Sorting technique to identifying the critical issues necessary to make this choice. Multidimentsional scaling procedures were employed to construct a three-dimensional map representing the relationships between reasons for selecting psychology as a major. Freshman and senior psychology majors (N = 165) from a regional university and a large research-based institution rated the relative importance of items in their decision-making process. Hierarchical clustering procedures revealed seven different groups of students. Although significant differences associated with class standing were not found, institutional affiliation did influence cluster composition. Reflecting local emphases, students at the regional institution had a greater interest in Counseling Psychology, whereas those at the research-based school focused on Clinical Psychology. This semantic map and the associated item clusters arising from psychology student data provides an empirical basis for, amongst other things, course selection, faculty-initiated program design or revision, strategic niche marketing, and student retention.
Quality & Quantity – Springer Journals
Published: Mar 24, 2005
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