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Title:Compromises in career-related decisions: Hypothetical choices, individual differences,and actual outcomes
Author(s):Wee, Serena G.
Director of Research:Hulin, Charles L.
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Hulin, Charles L.
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Roberts, Brent W.; Rounds, James; Gottfredson, Linda S.; Rooney, Gail
Department / Program:Psychology
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Career Choice
Career Compromise
Career Decision-Making
Vocational Interests
Abstract:This study examined the process, correlates, and outcomes of compromise in career-related decisions, as a test of Gottfredson's (2002) theory of circumscription and compromise. Sex-type, prestige, and work activities are important dimensions along which individuals consider occupational alternatives. However, because these dimensions naturally covary across occupations, it is difficult to make unequivocal statements about the relative importance of these dimensions. 194 college seniors (127 females, 44 males, 26 non-responses) took part in an experimentally manipulated occupational choice task. They also provided additional information about their grades, self-efficacy perceptions, personality and vocational interests, as well as their parents' education levels and occupations. Results from this study indicated that (for this predominantly female sample) preferred occupations tended to be more prestigious, and more feminine in sex-type than less preferred occupations. In addition, when individuals were forced to choose among unacceptable occupations, females tended to choose more feminine (less masculine) occupations over other occupations. Males also tended to choose the more feminine occupation, although markedly less so than females. When forced to choose among preferred alternatives, both males and females tended to choose options more consistent with their interests over those options less consistent with their interests. Individual differences on ability, socio-economic status, and self-efficacy were also found to positively predict which occupations participants found acceptable. However, personality differences did not (in general) predict differences in participants' occupational choices. Lastly, in a follow-up, post-graduation interview (n = 44), individuals who experienced discrepancies between their intended and actual post-graduation positions reported less satisfaction with these positions than individuals who did not experience discrepancies. Limitations and implications of this work are discussed.
Issue Date:2010-08-20
Rights Information:Copyright 2010 Serena G. Wee
Date Available in IDEALS:2010-08-20
Date Deposited:2010-08

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