Date

1-4-2016 12:00 AM

Major

Psychology

Department

Psychology

College

College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Project Advisor

Marcus Credé

Project Advisor's Department

Psychology

Description

This research investigates how personality and interests affect the reasons (self-reported interests and values) that people have for choosing a major. Past research has acknowledged the influence of personality, interests, and values on the choice of a career path. Personality has been shown to be enough to differentiate between major families (Larson, Wu, Bailey, Borgen & Gasser, 2010), and several studies have shown that within a major, reasons may differ between males and females. The current research hopes to explore how self-reported reasons for choosing a major are related to personality traits. Participants were recruited using the testing pool of a large Midwestern university, and a survey including inventories of the Big Five personality traits (Conscientiousness, Agreeableness, Emotional Stability, Extraversion, and Openness to Experience), Machiavellian and Narcissistic tendencies, and reasons for major choice was given to all participants. We will analyze data first by utilizing an exploratory factor analysis of the survey items addressing participants’ reasons for major choice to explore the structure of the 20 items. We then will use correlations and multiple regression to examine the relationships between the reasons for major choice and select personality variables, including the Big Five and the Dark Triad.

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Apr 1st, 12:00 AM

Individual Differences and Reasons for Major Choice

This research investigates how personality and interests affect the reasons (self-reported interests and values) that people have for choosing a major. Past research has acknowledged the influence of personality, interests, and values on the choice of a career path. Personality has been shown to be enough to differentiate between major families (Larson, Wu, Bailey, Borgen & Gasser, 2010), and several studies have shown that within a major, reasons may differ between males and females. The current research hopes to explore how self-reported reasons for choosing a major are related to personality traits. Participants were recruited using the testing pool of a large Midwestern university, and a survey including inventories of the Big Five personality traits (Conscientiousness, Agreeableness, Emotional Stability, Extraversion, and Openness to Experience), Machiavellian and Narcissistic tendencies, and reasons for major choice was given to all participants. We will analyze data first by utilizing an exploratory factor analysis of the survey items addressing participants’ reasons for major choice to explore the structure of the 20 items. We then will use correlations and multiple regression to examine the relationships between the reasons for major choice and select personality variables, including the Big Five and the Dark Triad.