Title: Effects of a classroom simulation on selected career decision-making variables with ninth-grade students
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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00098939/00001
 Material Information
Title: Effects of a classroom simulation on selected career decision-making variables with ninth-grade students
Physical Description: x, 103 leaves. : illus. ; 28 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Bailey, Sara Joy, 1938-
Publication Date: 1973
Copyright Date: 1973
Subject: Counseling in secondary education   ( lcsh )
Counselor Education thesis Ph. D
Dissertations, Academic -- Counselor Education -- UF
Genre: bibliography   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
Thesis: Thesis (Ed. D.)--University of Florida.
Bibliography: Bibliography: leaves 99-100.
General Note: Typescript.
General Note: Vita.
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Bibliographic ID: UF00098939
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: alephbibnum - 000585236
oclc - 14202009
notis - ADB3869


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To E. L. Tolbert, chairman of my doctoral committee,
for his help, encouragement, and patient understanding.

To Richard H. Johnson for allowing me to work with his
simulation, MOLD, and for his assistance with the technical
and statistical design of this research.

To James Lister and Franz Epting for their willingness
to give me the time and effort necessary to serve on my
doctoral committee.

To Frank Farino, principal, the guidance staff, and
the faculty of Whitehaven High School for their cooperation
and assistance in conducting this research.

To Trudy Gies for so willingly acting as my liaison
with the Counselor Education .Department as I worked in

To Robert E. Davis whose counseling and encouragement
helped make this degree a reality.



Acknowledgments . . . . . . .. ii

List of Tables . . . . . . ..

Abstract ............... vii

I Introduction . . . . . . . . 1

Statement of the Problem . . .. 3
Purpose of the Study . . . . . 6
Definitions of Specific Terminology . .
Simulation ... . . ..... 7
Came . . . . . . . . 7
Vocational maturity . ... . . 8
School attitude . . . . . 8
Hypotheses .. . . .. . . . 8

II A Review of the Literature . ... . .. 10

Decision-Makings Theoretical Concepts 10
Group Methods for Teaching Decision-
Making . . . . . . . 14
Vocational-Educational Counseling . . 17
Vocational Maturity and Its Measurement 20
School Attitude and Its Measurement . 26
Simulation and Games . . . . 32
Conclusion . . . . ..... . . 39

III Design and Methodology .... . . .. . 41

Description of Treatment . .. .. . 41
Method of Research . . ... . 42
Design . . . . . . .42
Setting . . . . . ... .. 44
Subjects . . ... . .. 45
Procedures . . . . .. . .. 46
Instrumentation . . . . . ... 48
The Survey of Study Habits and Attitudes 49
The Career Development Inventory . .. .50
Hypotheses . . . . .... 51
Statistical Analysis . . . . .. 54


IV Results and Discussion . . ....... 55

Random Selection of Subjects . . .. 55
Results ............... 57
Hypothesis I . . . . ... 57
Hypothesis II . . . . . 60
Hypothesis III . . . . . 63
Hypothesis IV . . ... . .63
Hypothesis V .......... 66
Hypothesis VI ........ .. 66
Hypothesis VII . . . . .. 69
Hypothesis VIII . . . .. 69
Hypothesis IX . . . . 72
Discussion of the Results . . . . 75
Hypothesis I ........... 75
Hypothesis II . . . .. . 77
Hypotheses III, IV, and V . . 78
Hypotheses VI, VII, and VIII . .. 79
Hypothesis IX . . . . 79
V Summary and Implications . . . . .. 81

Summary of Results. . . . .. 83
Implications . . . . .. 85

Bibliography . . . . . . . .. 88

Appendix A . . . . . .... .99

Biographical Sketch . . . . . . 102



I .Analysis of Variance, I. Q. Scores . . . 56

II Mean Scoresi Graduation Requirements . . . 58

III Analysis of Variance: Graduation Requirements 58

IV Factorial Analysiss Graduation Requirements. . 59

V Tukey's HSDI Graduation Requirements. .. .. 59

VI Group Means: Vocational Maturity . . . . 61

VII Analysis of Variances Vocational Maturity . 61

VIII Factorial Analysis, Vocational Maturity . . 62

IX Tukey's HSDi Vocational Maturity . . . . 62

X Group Means, Planning Orientation . . . 64

XI Analysis of Variance: Planning Orientation . 64

XII Group Meansi Resources for Exploration . . 65

XIII Analysis of Variance: Resources for Exploration 65

XIV Group Means, Information and Decision-Making .67

XV Analysis of Variance: Information and
Decision-Making . . . . . . 67
XVI Group Meansi Study Orientation . . .... . 68

XVII Analysis of Variance: Study Orientation . . 68

XVIII Group Means .Study Habits . . . . . 70

XIX Analysis of Variances Study Habits . . . 70

XX Group Meansi Study Attitudes . . . . . 71

XXI Analysis of Variances Study Attitudes . . 71



XXII Group Meanss Interview Questions . . . 73

XXIII Analysis of Variancel Interview Questions . 73

XXIV Factorial Analysis: Interview Questions . .. 74

XXV Tukey's HSDI Interview Questions . . . . 74

Abstract of Dissertation Presented to the
Graduate Council of the University of Florida in Partial
Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy



Sara Joy Bailey

August, 1973

Chairman, E. L. Tolbert
Major Department: Counselor Education

The challenge of helping students prepare to fulfill

the demands of today's world of technology and rapid change

is ever-present for school counselors. Making of Life

Decisions (MOLD) is a simulation designed to motivate

students through direct involvement in the areas of personal

assessment, vocational exploration, and educational explora-

tion. This study was designed to test the effects of MOLD

on ninth-grade students, utilizing the fact that in selecting

a curriculum for next year, they face a major educational

decision, one which can have far-reaching influence on their

future decisions and opportunities. Four variables were

selected knowledge of graduation requirements; vocational

maturity; study habits and attitudes; and behavior in a

decision-making situation.

Subjects were randomly selected from all students

classified as ninth graders and randomly assigned to one of

three groups Treatment, Control I, and Control II.

Students in the treatment group experienced MOLD, meeting

with a counselor one period daily for eight sessions.

Students in Control I met for the same sessions. Materials

relevant to the study were made available, but no assistance

was given. Control II, although identified, did not meet

except for the testing.

Three written tests and an individual audio tape-recorded

interview were used to assess the effects of MOLD on the four

variables. A single question was used for students' know-

ledge of graduation requirements. Super's Career Development

Inventory was used for measuring vocational maturity. The

Brown-Holtzman Survey of Study Habits and Attitudes rated

the third variable. Judges rated the taped interview to

assess student behavior in a decision-making situation,

using the number of questions asked by each student as the


Statistical analysis of the data was computed using a

variety of tests: an analysis of variance, a three-by-two

factorial, Tukey's honestly significant difference--all at


the .05 confidence level. The results of the analyses

supported the hypotheses that MOLD does have some effect

on students. Students experiencing MOLD were able to list

significantly more graduation requirements and asked

significantly fewer questions in their interview than

students in either control group. Although there was a

statistical difference in vocational maturity, with the

fact that the Tukey's honestly significant difference

showed no pair-wise difference, the practical conclusion

is that MOLD does not affect vocational maturity. Likewise,

MOLD exhibited no effect on study habits and attitudes.

Several implications for future research and practical

application were suggested by this study. A longitudinal

study of MOLD would perhaps be a more effective means of

assessing effects on vocational maturity and study habits

and attitudes. Research could also test other independent

variables--quality of decisions, various decision-making

situations, as well as MOLD's effect on subjects of varying

classifications--race, academic ability, or socio-economic


The positive results obtained from this study make MOLD

a practical technique. MOLD offers counselors a means of

helping students not only make educational-vocational choices

but also develop those skills of decision-making which will

have lasting benefit. The current problems facing today's


young people demand that school do more than teach "content"

areas--learning to live in a world of technology and change

is equally important.



Today's space-age technology in combination with an

era of rapid change has rendered the traditional secondary

school less than adequate in preparing young people to

fulfill the demands of today's world (3oocock.& Coleman

1966; Hall, L. 1963; Raser 1969; Toffler 1970). Changes in

the educational situation--more students in school, less

coercion and more persuasion n discipline at home and at

school (Boocock & Coleman 1966)--as well as changes in the

role and expectations of adolescents in American society

(Carlson 1969) have created a need for more relevancy in the

overall structure and program. The present emphasis is

often on teaching for the long-distant future within the

limits of an enforced, involuntary curriculum (Boocock &

Coleman 1966) with few opportunities for relating the educa-

tional experience to life (Hall, L. 1963).

Chronologically parallel with the questioning of the

relevancy of high school is a questioning of the theoretical

frame of reference for counseling students. One approach

which frequently appears in the professional literature is

based on decision theory (Clarke, Gelatt, & Levine 1965;

Gelatt 1962; Gelatt & Varenhorst 1968; Thomas 1972). The

high school counselor's function is described as facili-

tating decision-making, both helping a student to make a

"good" decision as well as equipping him with skills for

making good future decisions (Clarke, et al. 1965; Dilley

1967; Tyler 1961). This emphasis on decision-making is

even more stimulated by developments in vocational or

career counseling, for vocational choice is often "the

first important decision with which one is faced that will

have marked effects on later experience" (Galinsky &

Fast 1966). Super (1954, 1957, 1964; Super & Bachrach 1957)

and Tiedeman (1961) have described vocational choice as a

developmental process. Hilton (1962) defines career devel-

opment as an "accretion" of a chain of decisions with

decision-making skill of key importance. It thus would

seem that the problems herein presented are interrelated:

the relevancy of education being linked with decision-

making skills and particularly educational and vocational


Among the innovations being developed to augment and

improve current educational practices is one technique--

simulation--historically used in many other situations, but

just recently being given attention for its educational

possibilities. First used in training administrators

(Hemphill, Griffiths, & Frederiksen 1962), simulation has'

expanded in usage, being incorporated into classroom

techniques in certain subject areas. At the Twenty-eighth

Annual Invitational Conference on Testing Problems, October,

1967, Coleman described games as providing students a'chance

"to act out lifelike, decision-making roles in realistic

settings .. ." (Smith 1968). Although simulation is not a

panacea for educational problems, it does provide "fast and

effective" relief in many areas (Abt 1970; Curtis 1971;

Stark 1968; Tansey & Unwin 1969).

Statement of the Problem

Entry into high school presents new challenges to the

ninth-grade student, not the least of which involves making

several choices (Cass & Tiedeman 1960). Many of these

decisions ask the student to commit himself to a course of

action which has far-reaching influence on his further

development, sometimes even a limiting effect on future

opportunities (Abt 1970; Johnson, R. G. 1970; Wurtz 1966).

The problem lies in the fact that ninth-grade students are

often making such choices when they have no experience in

decision-making nor any concept of "how the choice will

affect their lives" (Abt 1970). Even a "simple" selection

of a curriculum is in reality "a projection into the future"

(Wurtz 1966).

A review of the literature provides several explanations

as to the basis for and the importance of such problems,

especially as they relate to educational and vocational

selections. .The extension of adolescence through protracted

training periods has made it more difficult for the young

person to make the transition from school to job (Ehrle

1970). The increasing number and variety of opportunities

causes many potentialities to be overlooked completely

(Ehrle 1970; Johnson, R. G. 1970, 1971). This factor,

combined with few chances for learning about possibilities

or for relating them to personal aptitudes and interests,

complicates the problem (Hall, L. 1963). Another factor

cited is the deprivation of youth of all socio-economic

and educational levels of relevant prevocational experi-

ences; even parttime work is not usually relative to lifetime

career choices (Johnson, R. G. 1970). Finally, students

have little understanding of the role of work and its

effect on life aid little knowledge of the sociological and

economical value of work and its influence on one's future

dignity and identify (Hall, L. 1963).

If these factors may be assumed to be true, the

question is raised, "Are ninth-grade students ready to begin

such exploration?" Research studies prove the answer to be

affirmative: counseling can be beneficial (Anderson &

Heimann 1967; Jessee & Heimann 1965). Super's studies

(1960, 1961) with ninth-grade boys stressed that while not

ready for vocational choice, they were ready for vocational

exploration, as exhibited by four criteria: development of

attitudes, dcevalo-ne-nt of self-kncwla a, development of

aptitudes, and development of interests.

Several counseling approaches are described in the

literature. One model for career decision-making, described

by Katz (1966), utilizes "Experience Tables," showing the

relationship between ninth-grade grades and high school

grade point averages, then grade point averages to college

admissions and achievement (Yabroff 1969). Super's research

with ninth-grade boys (1961) has concluded that the best

means of aiding a student is to assist him in assimilating

external data into his self-concept and in exploring his

self-concept. However, research has also shown that infor-

mation and/or knowledge of scholastic ability is not suffi-

cient in itself (Johnson, R. G. 1970; Koch 1972; Westbrook

1967). Fletcher (1960) identified three characteristics of

experiences to which junior nigh school students responds

meaningful to the student, challenging and attention-

attracting, encouraging a feasible behavioral sequence to

follow. Ehrle (1970) has sugZeszed the use of demonstra-

tions, simple tryouts, simulations, and games, asserting

that such "techniques build up a backlog of synthetic

experiences in decision-making for the student ... ."

Making of Life Decisions (MOLD) is a simulation

designed for use with middle school students, for the

purpose of motivating through direct involvement. Developed

as an attempt to augment and improve current practices of

occupational and educational counseling, MOLD also provides
riainin" i c ion- i ( 'hnsor i.yric 1972). In

an initial testing of MOLD, two questions were studied

1. Will MOLD increase students' knowledge of
educational and occupational information?

2. Will students perceive MOLD as an interesting and
meaningful activity?

Results tentatively indicated that MOLD was perceived as

interesting and did have a positive effect upon acquisition

of educational and occupational information (Johnson &

Myrick 1972).

Recent professional literature has affirmed a need for

innovative approaches to vocational-educational counseling,

as well as for training in decision-making. Likewise,

impetus has been given to the newer educational concepts of

gaming and simulations as possible techniques for meeting

this need. From the initial testing of MOLD, it would seem

that simulation may well provide one positive solution to

the problem. However, much research is needed before the

effectiveness of simulations and/or games as learning

environments is established (Fletcher 1971; Twelker 1972).

Purpose of the Study

This study represents an experimental design in which

the simulation program, Making of Life Decisions (MOLD), is

further researched, specifically its effects on ninth-grade

students. Four variables have been selected in an attempt

to explore not only the effects of MOLD on students' knowl-

edge (as in previous research), but also its effects on

students' vocational maturity, study habits and attitudes,

and behavior in a decision-making situation (as reflected in

the number of questions asked when presented the task of

selecting courses for the following school year). Thus,

this study will hopefully provide a step in the search for

innovative approaches to vocational-educational counseling.

Definitions of Snecific Terminology

Simulation.--A simulation is a model, an abstraction

with some factors omitted, or a substitution (Raser 1969).

It can give the appearance and/or the effect of something

else (Cruickshank 1972). In education, it permits one to

"look at the large and complex pattern of human relation-

ships and abstract therefrom parts that need investigation

or that are considered important" (ransey & Unwin 1969).

Game.--Abt in Serious Canes (1970) formally defines a

game as "an activity among two or more independent decision-

makers seeking to achieve their objectives in some limiting

context," asserting that they offer one "action in a mode

that, while chiefly mental, includes the felt freedom,

intuitive speed, and reactive response of physical move-

ments." Coleman (1968) describes academic games as "parti-

tioning off a portion of action from the complex stream of

life activities"--a "mirror of life."

The distinction between simulations and games is one of

degree; simulations omit fewer aspects in the creation of the

abstraction (Cruickshank 1972). Also, simulations are more

programmed with less player control of the outcomes. MOLD

is a program which more closely resembles a simulation than

a gaming technique in that each student is responsible for

making his own decisions, for which he receives probable

consequences. No points are awarded, nor does anyone win

or lose (Johnson & Myrick 1972).

Vocational maturity.--Super (1957) has defined voca-

tional maturity as a point on the continuum of vocational

development, a term which summarizes the position one has

reached in his vocational development from exploration to

decline. For further definition, refer to Chapter II,

Vocational Maturity and Its Measurement.

School attitude.--Within the context of this study,

school attitude is defined by the researcher as those

feelings and/or opinions of students which are directed

toward the learning environment--including curriculum,

teachers, peers, parents--and which are reflected in study

skills and habits. For further definition, refer to

Chapter II, School Attitude and Its Measurement.

Hypotheses.--Stated as research questions, the following

are the variables being tested

1. What effects does MOLD have on the number of
questions asked by high school freshmen in a
decision-making situation?
2. What effects does MOLD have on high school
freshmen's knowledge of graduation requirements?

3. What effects does MOLD have on high school
freshmen's vocational maturity level?

4. What effects does MOLD have on high school
freshmen's school attitude?
While there are many outcomes which could be studied
in researching MOLD, expediency and practicality necessi-

tate a limiting of these. The four research questions

selected represent an effort to focus on the variables

which are relevant to ninth graders and the particular

situation in which they find themselves, stress being

placed upon the vocational-educational decisions they face

and on a means of helping them explore the relationships

between school, study, and life.


A Review of the Literature

An extensive review of professional literature related

to the focus of this research--simulation techniques as a

possible innovation to vocational-educational counseling--

discloses many ideas, theories, and concepts which combine

to present a broad overview of the problem being studied.

To simplify such a review, several sub-topics have been


Decision-Makings Theoretical Concepts

The importance of working with students to develop

decision-making skills is a primary assumption of many

counseling authorities (Krumboltz 1965: Tyler 1961; Wrenn

1962). However, there is less agreement about exactly what

the process entails or how this is achieved. In working

with the process of decision-making, Gelatt (1962) and

associates (Clarke, Gelatt, & Levine 1965; Gelatt &

Varenhorst 1968) have developed and researched a decision-

making paradigm. Subsequently delineating its implications

for guidance practices, they have based the model on the

assumptions that good decisions require information, that

the more information, the greater potential for good

decisions, and that important information can be reduced

to a few basic classes. The decision-making strategy

consists of a prediction system--possible alternative

actions, possible outcomes, and probability of outcomes;

a value system--desirability of outcomes; and criterion--

evaluation and selection of a decision (Gelatt 1962). In

further describing the decision-making process, division

is made according to what is known of the relationship

between action and possible outcomes: certainty, action

which invariably leads to specific outcomes; risk, action

which leads to any one of a group of outcomes, but each

with a known probability; uncertainty, action which may

lead to any one of a group of outcomes, but the probabil-

ities are completely unknown. These levels of probability

can greatly affect an individual's choices--his acting

depending upon how he perceives them.

Descriptions of the process of vocational and educa-

tional decision-making range from the complex theoretical

to the simple. A tentative theory is based on Festinger's

"cognitive dissonance," the major motivation for decision-

making stemming from the need to reduce the dissonance

among the individual's perceptions of himself and his

environment. Inputs from the environment raise the disso-

nance to such an intolerable level that the process is set in

motion. The dissonance is then reduced through one of

several possibilities: manipulation of premises; search

for new plans, adoption of general plans; postponement of

a decision; or adoption of a short-term career (Hilton 1962).

Two broad trends in the decision-making process are identi-

fied by Hershenson and Roth (1966). First, the range of

possibilities is narrowed; secondly, the remaining possibil-

ities are strengthened. These trends are more explicitly


1. Each vocationally-oriented decision limits the
range of possible subsequent experiences.

2. With the range more narrow, available alternatives
are also narrowed.

3. With fewer alternatives, more focus is given to a
particular course of action.

4. Focusing on a particular course causes one to be
more likely to perceive future events as consist-
ent with this course; thus, this course is

Dilley (1967) proposes that decision-making is both a

dilemma and a purpose for counselors, for while the goal is

to help students make good decisions, the dilemma isi "What

is 'good'?" Should judgment be made in terms of outcome or'

process? The counselor's role is seen as helping the

student understand that both process and outcome are

important because knowledge of the real world is imperfect,

and thus an individual should be tentative about his

"knowledge." Hoyt (1972) describes the process of career

choice in three questions: ""hat is important. to me?"

"What is possible for me?" "What is probable for me?"

Empirical research of these processes has not been

strong (Thoresen & Mehrens 1967). Some research, however,

has been conducted with regard to the developmental trends

of high school students' vocational decisions. Studying the
"self-concept" of high school boys as exhibited in aptitude,

interest, social class, values, and the individual's ability

to evaluate his standing in these four areas, O'Hara and

Tiedeman (1959) inferred that the self-concept (excepting

with social class) is clarified as the students pass from

the ninth grade to the twelfth grade. Hollender (1967),

testing the hypothesis that vocational choices become more

realistic with advancing age, has obtained statistically

significant results (also Smith & Herr 1972), but has raised

the question, "What is the definition of realistic?"

oillender used iinellectual capacity for his criterion. In

investigating vocational choice and indecision, using age,

grade, and ability as variables, Hollender (1971) has found

that only ability reflects a difference, with males being

more decisive as ability increases, but females increasing

accordingly until the highest level, where they become more


Dilley, suggesting that a relationship exists between

decision-making ability and vocational maturity, used a

Decision-Making Ability Instrument and conducted correlation

tests with three correlates of vocational maturity, intel-

ligence, achievement, participation in extracurricular

activities. He concluded that all three variables were

indicative of decision-making ability. A research study by

Biggers (1971) investigated the types of information used in

decision-making and searched for developmental trends in

the use of information--is there a corresponding increase

in maturity of using information with an increase in age?

Using an Occupational Construct Inventory, Biggers concluded

that while a variety of types of information is used, no

trend can be observed.

Group Methods for Teaching Decision-Making

Bruner (1963) has pointed out that

in order to learn or to solve problems, it is
necessary that alternatives be explored and .
you cannot have effective learning or problem
solving without the learner's having the courage
and the skill to explore alternative ways of
dealing with a problem.

This should be less risky for a student if the exploration

takes place in the presence of a teacher or counselor. This

statement is supported by research by Evans and Cody (1969).

Using three groups--one receiving assistance with strategies

for decision-making, one receiving no assistance, and one

control group--the researchers gave each group a similar

task and set a standard criterion for each to achieve. Only

the assisted group met criterion within the time limits estab-

lished, all subjects doing so; however, no subjects in

either of the other groups achieved criterion. It would

appear that guidance in developing decision-making skills is

more effective.

Professional literature contains recommendations as to

how knowledge of the process of decision-making and of the

influential factors might be applied to counseling practices.

Four directions for progress in operationalizing counseling

to promote occupational exploration.are formulated

1. Seek tools sensitive to the expanded variables--
both occupational and personal--which have been
identified as significant.

2. Stress longer, progressive vocational planning
as opposed to a final occupational choice.

3. Correlate self-exploration with occupational
4. Encourage a search based on personal-vocational
factors with individual hypotheses modified and
(Pritchard 1962)

An answer to the question of how to aid students in

developing skills in decision-making has been proposed by

Katz (1966). His model incorporates three systems of data--

values, information, and prediction--using numerical input

from these sources to obtain expected values. The strength

of the model resides in the consideration given to a

student's values. Another answer, which represents an

attempt to combine the best features of other systems and

approaches, is "feasible alternative counseling" (Thomas

1972). Within this framework, the counselor and student

work together, the student writing the specific aspects of

the problem and any solutions he perceives, the counselor

adding any other possibilities. Then together the counselor

and student work through the alternatives, weeding out those

which are impossible and thoroughly discussing each of the

others. At this point the student is in a position to

choose a course of action. Effective Problem Solving is

a counseling model for helping students solve educational

and vocational problems. A type of self-directed learning

program, the model teaches the steps in Effective Problem

Solving, then presents the student an opportunity to apply

them to a personal problem. The model has several advan-

tages for the counselor: (1) it permits him to be a

consultant to the student; (2) it utilizes his training

in keeping the student moving optimally; (3) it permits

him to work with one or a group of students at the same

time, each student working independently. The structured

model consists of twelve parts, each with a "carefully

arranged sequence of questions." It has been used success-

fully with students of several levels--junior high school

through high school, marginally achieving through college-

bound (Magoon 1969).

Two research studies involving modeling and reinforce-

ment present specific counseling techniques. Using external

information-seeking behavior as the criterion, Krumboltz

and Schroeder (1965) have studied the effects of verbal

reinforcement and modeling reinforcement. The results show

a sex difference, with males responding with more information-

seeking behavior with model reinforcement, while females

respond more positively with verbal reinforcement. Thoresen

and Hamilton (1972) have tested three techniques--peer social

modeling; modeling and materials (pamphlets and role

playing); and materials--with subjective knowledge, identi-

fication and use of information in a simulated career

exploration situation, and frequency and variety of career

exploratory behavior as criteria. Their conclusion was

that peer social modeling may be effective and that struc-

tured written material may be enhanced by social modeling.

From their research with the Life Career Game, Gelatt

(1962) and Gelatt and Varenhorst (1968) have developed six

implications for counselors working with decision-making.

1. The collection and utilization of information

2. The utilization of decision-making opportunities
to develop a capacity for decision-making

3. The recognition of student inability to make
accurate assessments

4. The recognition of interaction among immediate,
intermediate, and long-range decisions

5. The development of an awareness of all alterna-

6. The utilization of the acquisition of decision-
making skills as a baseline for evaluation of a
guidance program

Vocational-Educational Counseling

The relationship between vocational choices and educa-

tional choices is not clearly defined. Based on cross-

sectional and longitudinal studies which show that there

are other determinants of educational decisions besides

vocational choice, Dole (1963) has argued for treating

them separately. The inverse position as stated by

Ciavarella (1972) proposed a reciprocal influence--"each

having significant implication for the other." The curri-

culum is seen as influencing vocational development through

the number and variety of offerings available and the status

of teachers and students in a given program. However,

regardless of how the relationship is perceived, students

do face these choices and do experience difficulty in making

them (Galinsky & Fast 1966: Gunmere 1967; McDaniels 1968).

Gunmere (1967) has proposed three psychological and socio-

logical reasons for this difficulty: (1) the natural

resistance of adolescents to "interference"; (2) a disillu-

sionment with the value of adult guidance; (3) the change

and instability of the directions in which natural and

social forces are moving people.

Factors, including external, internal, and adaptation

variables (Beilin 1955), which affect vocational and educa-

tional decisions have also been researched (Dole 1963).

Dole has noted from his studies that educational decisions

are affected by internal factors--values, interests--and

external factors--sex, confidence, and parental occupation.

In evolving one of the earlier theories of the development

of vocational attitudes, Carter (1940) conducted research.

to determine which educational and maturational factors were

most significant. Home environment was found to be the most

important external influence, while individual native equip-

ment, coupled with subjective factors involving adjustment

for satisfaction and attempts to gain identification, were

the internal factors. Astin (1967) has attempted to identify

those personal characteristics of ninth-grade students which

can predict expressed vocational choice at graduation and

those characteristics of a secondary school which affect

senior choices. Her results for personal characteristics

showed that interest measures and initial career choices are

relevant. The size of the school and the mean score on a

reading comprehension test are significant school character-

istics. Research to determine if there are any sex differ-

ences in vocational maturation has shown that females tend to

be more mature than males, with both sexes becoming more

mature as grade level advances (Smith & Herr 1972). Crites

and Semler (1967). have conducted longitudinal research to

determine if change in adjustment and achievement occurred

as a student progressed from the fifth grade to the twelfth

grade and to test whether adjust-nent and achievement could

predict vocational development. Their results showed all

three interrelated, earlier adjustment measures being predic-

tive of later measures and closely related to educational

achievement and vocational maturity.

A vocational-educational program is divided into three

services by Woodruff (1972). The career decision guidance

information service aids the student in learning all the

options, based on his skills, interests, and aptitudes; the

career objective analysis service enables the student to

know what he must learn or do for a given career; the

conceptual and operational education and experience help

the student develop the skill and knowledge he needs. The

model, after the initial beginning, allows for re-cycling.

A system piloted at San Diequito High School, Encinitas,

California, presented four phases of the program: (1) the

selection of a post-graduate goal; (2) self-evaluation;

(3) a study of goal requirements; (4) development of a
projected high school program (Koch 1972).

Beilin (1955) has listed several principles of general

development which are applicable to any program. Develop-

ment, a continuous process, irreversible and differentiable

into patterns, should have pre-eminence; levels of maturity

should be considered; the process, incorporating both

differentiation and integration, develops at a rapid- pace

in the beginning, but slows down; progress moves from

dependence to independence, from egocentric to social

behavior; and the process is interactive and interdependent.

Vocational Maturiti and Its Measurement

In his studies of vocational development, Super (1955)

established a conceptual framework for a vocational maturity

quotient (the ratio of vocational maturity to chronological

age), vocational maturity being a point on the continuum of
vocational development. This term was introduced to provide
"an organizing construct that summarizes the place reached on

the continuum of vocational development from exploration to

decline" (Super 1957). It is multi-dimensional, being

composed of both cognitive processes and attitudinal vari-

ables. In educational concepts it indicates a readiness to

make the vocational decision called for by society (Super

1964). Using this framework Super delineated those dimen-

sions and indices which were indicative of vocational

maturity (1955).

From a study of writing and research concerning voca-

tional maturity, Crites (1961) has suggested the use of two

independent measurable constructs degree of vocational

maturity and rate of vocational development. He has also

recommended a combination of age and point-scales, with

scoring keys constructed which differentiate older and

younger age groups within a given vocational life stage.

Wurtz (1969) has questioned the use of intelligence as a

variable in researching vocational maturity. Statistics

support the use of a mental age in preference to a chrono-

logical age with reading tests; therefore, according to

Wurtz, when intelligence or scholastic aptitude is used as

a variable in vocational developmental research, mental age

would provide the better perspective.

A review of professional literature discloses an array

of instruments designed to measure vocational maturity.

Mathewson and Orton (1963) have developed a vocational

maturity scale using vocational imagery as the measurement.

Working with high school students, they have observed a


"ubiquity of immaturity in much of their vocational thinking

and imagery." A Vocational Sentence Completion Blank, to be

hand-scored, was developed by Dole (1958). It encompasses

three major areas general self-achievement (independence,

satisfaction, problems); general emphases (intellectual,

activities, other people); and specific preference (outdoor,

mechanical, computational). For research studies in schools

in the lowest social ratings, a Vocational-Educational

Survey for High School Seniors was constructed by-Vriend

(1969). The survey compared students in an experimental two-

year program with a control group, showing the experimental

group higher on total vocational maturity and exhibiting

more positive behavior toward goals. A discussion tool, the

Occupational-Attitude Rating Scale, was developed at Ohio

State University, utilizing general types of technical

satisfaction; social-contact satisfaction; and social-

service satisfaction (Hammond 1954).

The Vocational Development Inventory was developed,

based on Super's dimensions, but with the assertion "that

the concept of vocational maturity is more comprehensive

than vocational choice, including not only the selection of

an occupation, but also attitudes toward decision-making,

comprehension and understanding of job requirements, planning

activity and ability, and development of vocational capabil-

ities" (Crites 1965). It consists of two sections a

Competence Test and an Attitude Scale. The Competence Test

contains five subtests:

1. Problem--ability to solve conflicts

2. Planning--ordering steps toward a goal

3. Occupational Information--factual knowledge

4. Self-knowledge--score against objective information

5. Goal Selection--choosing the best goals for a
hypothetical person
The Attitude Scale contains self-descriptive statements

(Crites 1968). The Inventory was initially tested with

three thousand elementary and secondary students in two

separate experiments. Several conclusions were drawn

(Crites 1965): while the test did not distinguish by age,

it did by grade levels (Hall, D. 1963); a notable trend in

response set from "true" in elementary school to "false"

in high school was also observed.

Mlaynard and Hansen (1970) used the Vocational Develop-

ment Inventory in research assessing the vocational maturity-

of black and white inner-city youths in both segregated and

integrated high schools. The results ranked suburban

students, white inner-city students, black inner-city

students respectively from highest to lowest. Alone, all,

differences were significant, but when I.Q. was used as a co-

variant, there were no differences. This was attributed to

the belief that students from lower socio-economic levels are

not test-oriented and that a cultural bias exists within

tests. Two possible interpretations are suggested. Disad-

vantaged students may have different patterns of vocational

development; further research is needed.

A measurement of readiness for vocational planning has

been designed and researched by Gribbons (May 1964; 1967)

and his associate Lohnes (Spring 1964; September 1964; 1965;

1969). From multi-dimensional personal interviews conducted

in the eighth grade and again in the tenth grade, eight

numerical variables, considered to represent eight dimensions

of readiness for vocational planning were scaled. These

variables arei

1. Curriculum choice--awareness of factors to be
considered (abilities, interests, available
courses, relationship to occupational goals)

2. Occupational choice--awareness of factors to
consider (abilities: interests, values, educational
requirements, definitions, limitations, scope,
stating choice as tentative, not final)

3. Verbalized strengths and weaknesses--those relative
to educational and vocational choices

4. Accuracy of self-appraisal

5. Evidence for self-rating

6. Awareness of interests and their relation to
occupational choice

7. Awareness of values and their relation to
occupational choice

8. Independence of choice

(Gribbons 1964; Gribbons & Lohnes Spring 1964, 1965). The

analysis of the interviews revealed several factors. Many

tenth-grade students made decisions based on poor information,

reflecting a need for counseling (Gribbons 1964). The Readi-

ness for Vocational Planning Scale separated students into

three curricular groups: college preparatory, business,

industrial arts and general, the college preparatory group

consistently exhibiting higher scores. A seven-year follow-

up study (Gribbons 1967) revealed that the scale was able to

predict criterion variables based on an interview two years

after graduation. In 1969 Gribbons and Lohnes, using the

same subjects and data as in the original research, developed

a new method of analysis--a univariate scaling. This change

was justified by the opportunity it presented for combining

a vocational maturity measure with other predictors. As a

result of such a combination (Readiness for Vocational Plan-

ning, sex, socio-economic status, intelligence) a career

development tree was designed.

Finally, a new assessment of career development is

presently being researched and standardized by the American

College Testing Program. Developed at North Carolina State

University, the intention was to design a scale for measuring

vocational maturity with objective items (Westbrook &

Cunningham 1970; Westbrook, Parry-Hill, & Woodbury 1971).

The test, Assessment of Career Development, is composed of

two major components: Occupational Awareness; Career Planning

and Decision-Making. In each area both student knowledge

and student experience are assessed (American College Test-

ing Program, Developmental Research Department 1972).


School Attitude and Its Measurement

The character of student attitudes toward school
and education in general has posed problems of
both theoretical and practical importance to
educators (Brodie 1964).

As part of a project to study the nature and attitudinal

structure of the educational environment and to attempt to

modify the attitudes of significant people in it, Tuel and

Shaw (1966) developed a scale to measure the attitudinal

dimensions of the educational environment. Previously,

Tuel and Wursten (1965) had defined the "climate of learning"

as that portion of the total, objective environment which

exerts direct influence on a student's learning, conceptual-

izing it ass "Sveral ccncontric spheres radiating outward."

These spheres include home, classroom, school, district,

region, and nation. Supported by a review of relevant

research, the influences of those spheres most closely

related to this study were identified as home--parental

attitudes and behaviors and parental acceptance; classroom--

instructional methods, evaluation techniques, group structure,

and interpersonal relations; school--social pressures, peer

group influences and values as exhibited in rewards, the

role of competition, extra-curricular activities, and

academic freedom. The School Opinion Survey, which resulted,

assesses education-related attitudes of parents, teachers,

students, and administrators in two broad areas (factors

extracted from the initial items being used to develop the

instrument). Dimensions of educational philosophy encompass

the first three subscales, while the final seven subscales

are grouped as technique scales (Tuel &'Shaw 1966). The

Survey identifies the attitudinal dimensions of each indi-

vidual toward the educational system, thus helping to

identify any existing specific problems.

Research has been conducted to study any attitudinal

differences distinguishing satisfied and dissatisfied stu-

dents. Williams (1970) used the California Study Methods

Survey to identify.students with positiveand negative

attitudes and then attempted to delineate personality,

ability, and achievement correlates which would differen-

tiate between the two groups. He observed that students in

the negative attitudinal group score significantly lower on

all three variables. A study to examine the difference in

psychological functioning and classroom effectiveness be-

tween satisfied and dissatisfied students used the Student

Opinion Poll to classify the students and then studied

correlations with individual I.Q. tests, a standardized

verbal achievement test, a numerical achievement test, the

California Personality Test, direct sentence completion,

indirect sentence completion, teacher rating, the Adjective

Checklist, and a group Rorschach. Results indicated that

the two groups did not differ in intellectual ability or

scholastic achievement, appearing to differ psychologically

rather than scholastically. The dissatisfaction thus is

considered a part of a larger picture of psychological

discontent rather than a reflection of inefficient function-

ing in class, almost as if it is a product of a "pervasive

perceptual set" coloring the student's view of himself and

the world (Jackson & Getzels 1959). A partial replication

of this study was conducted by Brodie (1964). Again distin-

guishing satisfied and dissatisfied students by means of

scores on the Student Opinion Poll, the research compared

the scores of the two groups on the Iowa Test of Educational

Development. Those satisfied with school scored higher,

with academic skill development closely associated with

classroom objectives and drill, and general knowledge more

associated with independent reading. A negative attitude

was found to have an inhibitory effect on classroom learning,

but less effect on learning not identified with school and

education. A slightly different study by Tseng and Carter

(1970), examining "achievement motivation and fear of fail-
ure as determinants" of vocational decisions, found a sig-

nificant difference between students with high achievement

and low fear of failure and students with low achievement

and high fear of failure.

Instruments for assessing attitudes have been developed

by researchers in many forms. One theoretical approach was

based on the assumption that

attitudes of students toward school subjects might
be illustrated by analyzing the habitual orientation
of students toward decision or choice situations
according to two dimensions

(Edwards & Wilson 1959), the degree of deliberation or the

preference for abstract or immediate ends and the prefer-

ence for social or non-social objects. The scale was

constructed with six scores, presenting valid indices of

an individual's relative position on the six continue;

(1) prudent-aesthetic; (2) prudent-immediate; (3) pru-

dent-theoretic; (4) theoretic-immediate; (5) theoretic-

aesthetic; (6) aesthetic-immediate (Edwards & Wilson

1959). Juola (1963) attempted to construct an "empirically
derived non-cognitive scale," based on the values and

attitudes which students "seem to hold for education and

educational activities." The result, the Academic Attitude

Preference Inventory, consisted of one hundred items,

selected from an initial two hundred seventy-five items

given to nine hundred freshmen at Michigan State University.

Items were chosen by responses of high and low achievement

students which met three criteria,

1. An item must correlate to grade point average
at .10 or higher, either sex.

2. If an item qualifies for one sex, a correlation
of .08 must be found for the other sex.

3. An item must show a higher per cent of high
achievers preferring that response than lower

Research has shown some relationship with ability; however,

the studies are not yet complete. An instrument designed

to measure specific attitudes (not an omnibus measure)

toward instruction was designed by Finch (1969). Students

were to indicate the degree to which they agreed or

disagreed with statements relating to a particular period

of instruction. Initial tests conducted with vocational

students showed a reliability coefficient of .918, with a

repeat of .931. A completely different measurement instru-

ment for assessing attitude established a semantic

differential. Seven positions on an ordinal scale were

used with bipolar adjectives extremely, moderately,

slightly, neutral, slightly, moderately, extremely. Three

revisions yielded an item correlation of .20 or higher,

standardized on high school and college students.

The Survey of Study Habits and Attitudes (SSHA) by
Brown and Holtzman is a widely used attitude assessment

instrument (Draayer & McLure 1972; Haslam & Brown 1968;

Khan & Roberts 1969; Martens 1964). Form H, for use with

students in grades seven through twelve, was developed and

standardized after the initial test (Holtzman & Brown 1968).

Other improvements corrected shortcomings--the use of

different norms and scoring keys by sex; the use of only

forty-three of seventy-five items; results in terms of one

score--and benefited counselor purposes (Roark & Harrington

1969). Two studies have shown that the SSHA does seem to

measure significant nonintellectual variables while having

predictive qualities of grades (Khan & Roberts 1969; Martens

1964). The SSHA has also been used as the major instrument

in studies of the effectiveness of various educational

problems (Draayer & McLure 1972; Haslam & Brown 1968).

Two research problems concerning.attitude change have

been observed and studied. Questioning the relationship

between new information and cognitive change accompanying

such learning, Greenberg (1964) conducted a research study.

Field studies, which show that selective exposure (purposely

choosing what agrees with one's cognitions and thereby

having no opportunity to learn facts to the contrary)

operates in learning situations, raise the question of

whether learning may modify beliefs. Working with students

at.San Francisco State College in political science classes,

Greenberg found that if an individual is deliberately exposed

to new information, he begins to learn "perhaps in spite of

himself." Learning changes one's belief structure and then

the change directs one to acquire more information. Which

comes first has not been determined (Greenberg 1964).

Another problem of attitudinal change research has been

studied by Nosanchuk, Mann, and Pletka (1972). They were

concerned with the effects of a pretest on the subsequent.

learning; specifically with the effects of the communication

of information within the test, the commitment demanded by

signing the pretest, and the decisioning demanded by

responding to the pretest. A complex design utilizing one

hundred thirty-six students in an introductory psychology

class showed that none of the three has any significant


A longitudinal analysis of the relationship between

high school values and participation with educational-

occupational achievement has shown that values in high

school radically change shortly after graduation, having

no significant relationship to future educational and

occupational achievement. A suggested explanation is that

there is a lack of association between the two (Snyder 1969).

This explanation, if assumed to be correct, gives impetus

to the need for finding some means of helping high school

students see such a relationship and its relevance to them-


Simulation and Games

The impetus of simulation and gaming as an educational

tool is evidenced in part by the number of books currently

being published (Abt 1970; Boocock & Schild 19681 Carlson

1969; Raser 1969; Tansey & Unwin 1969). Educational games

have been characterized as follows

1. Simplification of the real world

2. Progression as a series of cycles, each a
period of time and a sequence of events

3. Compression of time
4. Employment of a simulated environment which
represents aspects of the real world

5. Instructions for students to act out roles
6. Competitive

(Kasperson 1968). Games induce learning by two means, the

high level motivation and interest focuses player attention

to specific tasks and skills; a series of contingencies is

established, "where reinforcement is contingent upon

specific behaviors . ." (Schild 1966). Before acceptance

of this technique, Beals (1971) recommends consideration of

several issues.

1. Willingness to use the necessary time

2. Consideration of students' background and their
specific needs

3. Personal and school philosophy
4. Oversimplification of the situation

5. Availability of materials

6. Justification as part of the curriculum

7. Evaluation process

8. Emphasis: winning or learning?

9- Preparation for participation in society

10. Sophistication for realism

11. "Dehumanizing" to children

The potential value of simulation and gaming involves

several features. The motivational quality is heightened

(Abt 1970; Boocock & Coleman 1966; Kasperson 1968; Kelly

1970; Raser 1969; Stark 1968; Tansey & Unwin 1969).
Cruickshank (1972) describes simulation as developing more

involvement, both intellectually and emotionally. This

involvement is based on the natural interest inherent in

children in games--even small children become involved in
"playing store" (Rogers & Kysilka 1970). Another factor is

the immediate feedback which results (Kasperson 1968;

Schild 1966; Stark 1968). Not only does the student learn

to anticipate and deal with situations, receiving the

consequences immediately (Rogers & Kysilka 1970), but after

seeing the effects of his decision-making, in many simula-

tions he must live with those effects (Kelly 1970). The

feedback factor is heightened by another feature--the

opportunity for decision-making without censure (Tansey &

Unwin 1969). This permits the student to engage in "danger-

ous, threatening situations" without problems (Cruickshank

1972) and offers the opportunity for repeated trials
(Kasperson 1968; Schild 1966). The actual simulation

situation affords several potentially valuable features.

The simplification from the "real" to the "simulated" makes

the whole situation "easier to see" (Raser 1969), thus

facilitating adaptation to crucial factors (Schild 1966).

Simulation can also provide experiences which are not

normally available (Boocock & Coleman 1966; Cruickshank

1972). Another potentially valuable factor involves the
role of the teacher, as a consultant and helper, not a

judge; the game being self-judging with the outcome deciding

the winner (Boocock & Coleman 1966; Rogers & Kysilka 1970;

Tansey & Unwin 1969). However, Fletcher (1971) has questioned

this factor on the basis that at the same time, different
students will see the teacher's role from different view-

points. The various learning potentialities constitute

another value. In Serious Games Abt (1970) identifies four

types of learning: intuition-building (also, Stark 1968),

problem-solving, social behavior training, and allocation

of resources. The opportunity for personality development

and stimulation of the imagination is suggested by Stark

(1968). The focus on decision-making skills as well as on
factual knowledge and concepts is yet another learning

potential (Rogers & Kysilka 1970). A final value in

simulation and gaming is its appropriateness for students

of all levels (Rogers & Kysilka 1970), especially in that

students can simultaneously learn different things on

different levels in the same game (Abt 1970).

Simulation, however potentially valuable, has some
limitations. The teacher's attitude can be a hindrance

(Boocock & Schild 1968); the situation may be threatening

since the teacher no longer has the "right" answers (Rogers

& Kysilka 1970). The opposite, attraction for the student,

may also be a limitation if the simulation is a substitute
for learning, emphasizing winning, not learning (Boocock

& Schild 1968; Kasperson 1968; Rogers & Kysilka 1970). The

expense of commercial simulations and the time involved may

also be limitations (Rogers & Kysilka 1970). Baldwin (1969)
points out some detrimental administrative problems.

Instructions and/or suggestive labels can suggest behaviors.
Excessive rules or progressively complex situations can

affect the development of strategies.

Professional literature contains many reports of studies
using simulation and gaming techniques in educational

situations, both in general curricular settings and in

counseling settings. In the social science area, a Commu-

nity Disaster simulation has been tested. Reporting

descriptive results (not empirical), Inbar (1966) supported

the motivational and teaching values. Kinkade and Kidd

(1962) used an operational game as a method of task famil-

iarization with air traffic control, concluding that the

game facilitated the training process more economically.

The Department of Agricultural Education at Pennsylvania

State University tested the effectiveness of alternative

uses of simulation in agricultural management (Curtis 1971).

The conclusions were as follows

1. Simulation is useful for teaching concepts to
high school students and adults.

2. Interest is high and sustained.

3. Team size, the number of decisions, and the type
of data may be varied without sacrificing

4. Model complexity has no adverse effect.

5. The method of dissemination of material has a
significant effect.
In teacher education, simulated teaching experiences were

offered, with novice teachers working first with other

teachers and then with students. Evidence supported the

fact that behavior acquired during the simulation with

peers transferred to work with students (Emmer 1971).

Counselors and counselor educators have also used

simulation with students on all levels. Although supported

by no empirical evidence, the University of Missouri has

developed a program using simulation techniques in counsel-

ing practicums, which is considered successful (Gysbers &

Moore 1970). Simulated career experiences in the form of

kits were designed at Sanford University (Peterson 1972;

Johnson, R. G. 1971). Five guidelines were in the design

of each kit

1. Realistic and representative problems from the

2. Reading level such that ninety-five per cent
of the students have no difficulty

3. Problems intrinsically interesting to a majority
of the students

4. Problems successfully read and solved in fifty
minutes by seventy-five per cent of the students

5. Self-contained, self-administered

(Krumboltz & Sheppard 1969). Research, following that of

Krumboltz and using a test of occupational information and

self-rated interest in obtaining more occupational informa-

tion, showed no difference between simulation and a general

approach in motivating interest in learning about vocations

in general. However, the kits did generate more interest

in specific occupations (Johnson, R. G. 1971). The Life

Career Game, developed by Boocock, has been researched with

high school students. It utilizes the learning principles

of modeling, reinforcement, successive approximation,

discrimination learning, and skill development. The deci-

sion-making conditions are fulfilled through involvement,

the realization of a need for facts--where to find them

and how to use them--a clarification of values, and practice

in decision-making (Varenhorst 1969). A research study

conducted at a Four-H convention utilized two games--career

and legislature--with each group a control group for the

other. The overall evaluation was that "a good deal of

learning--and several different kinds of learning--can occur

in simulation games of this sort" (Boocock 1966; Boocock

& Coleman 1966). Empirical research with the Life Career

Game at the University of Missouri tested the amount of

learning of educational-occupational information, the reten-

tion of this information, and interest in the activity. The

results showed no difference in the experimental and control.

groups in interest; with educational information the

experimental group learned less, while the groups were equal

in learning occupational information; the two groups were

equal in retaining educational information, while the experi-

mental group retained more occupational information (Johnson

& Euler 1972). Collecting data from several research

experiments, Boocock (1967) has noted several positive

characteristics of the Life Career Game.

1. High interest

2. Efficient means of communicating factual infor-

3. "Substitute for experience"
4. Appreciation for the importance and the complex-
ities of decisions ahead

Evaluation of the processes, strategies, and general

outcomes of simulations and games is needed (Fletcher 1971;

Kelly 1970; Schild 1966; Twelker 1972). However, some

research in these areas is available. Using the Generation

Gap game, Chartier (1972) has attempted to answer the

question: "Would discussion of game experience aid learn-

ing--both at the cognitive and the affective level?"

Although differences were not significant, the affective

level was higher with the game experience; the cognitive

level reflected no difference. Likewise, research in

junior college political science classes revealed no signifi-

cant change in cognitive learning through simulation

experiences, but desirable attitudinal changes were noted

(Heinkel 1970). In general, empirical findings support only

the hypothesis that more interest is generated; all other

hypotheses--more facts learned, better retention, critical

thinking and decision7making skill developed, attitudes

altered--must be at least tentatively rejected (Cherryholmes



The quantity of professional literature related to the

focus of this research attests to the relevance of such

study. The content of such literature supports the fact

that simulation is a possible innovative technique for

vocational-educational counseling. The emphasis upon

decision-making skills lends validity to the use of

simulation techniques because of the incorporation into the

process of opportunities to develop these skills with

immediate feedback for evaluation. However, this review

of the literature has also revealed a need for further

research, not only for developing theoretical explanations

of the processes, but also for identifying and researching

the effectiveness of these techniques. The research pro-

posed represents an effort to contribute to the growing

knowledge of the effectiveness of MOLD with students,

focusing on its effects upon a student's behavior in a

decision-making situation, knowledge of graduation require-

ments, level of vocational maturity, and attitude toward

school and study.


Design and Methodology

Although students are continually making important

educational and vocational decisions, the spring semester

brings these into focus with emphasis upon selecting a

curriculum for the following school year. The significance

of these curriculum decisions is accentuated for ninth-

grade students at Whitehaven High School because they have

the opportunity--for the first time--to choose between

academic and vocational programs, as well as among the

various facets within each broad designation. This research

study utilizes this focus in assessing the effects of

MOLD on ninth-grade students as related to the four

independent variables.

Description of Treatment

Making of Life Decisions (MOLD) is a unique approach

to career decision-making developed by Richard H. Johnson.

It motivates students through direct involvement in a series

of eight activities, each designed to focus upon one specif-

ic aspect of career decision-making: personal assessment,

occupational exploration, occupation choice, educational

exploration, and educational choice. Some activities are


individual, while others involve group participation;

however, each concludes with a group discussion and evalua-

tion. Activities range from simple tasks (sentence comple-

tion) to a simulation experience, in which a student makes

a personal evaluation, then makes decisions based on that

evaluation, and finally is given probable consequences.

Method of Research

The overall method of research has been developed as

herein presented in an effort to provide an experimental

situation which parallels as closely as possible the actual

conditions under which MOLD is intended to be used. Consid-

eration has also been given to the experimental setting,

with efforts to design a study which realizes the maximum

potential of the purposes yet is appropriate within the

limits of the setting.


This research study employs a posttest-only control

group design (Campbell & Stanley 1963). The following is a

graphic summary of the design:

Phases I II III IV

Treatment R 01 X1 0 00-
Control I R 01 X2 O2 345
Control II R 01 2 O 3 5

X2 Unstructured Study Hall
0 I.Q. scores
02 Graduation Requirements Test
0 Individual Interview

The first phase involves a randomized selection of

ninety-six students from all students enrolled in ninth-

grade homerooms, forty-eight boys and forty-eight girls,

randomly assigned to one of the three groups, with

stratification by sex. The randomization represents an

effort to assure a lack of initial biases among the three

groups, thereby permitting the omission of protests

(Campbell & Stanley 1963). The use of a control group

selected from within the same school has been studied and

results have shown that the contamination which would

possibly occur is negligible (Rothney & Lewis 1969;

Johnson, R. H. 1970).

Phase two provides a means of checking the randomi-

zation, using I.Q. scores found on students' cumulative

records. If significant difference is found among the

groups on this variable, the statistical analysis for the

instruments in phase four is adjusted to eliminate any


Phase three provides for the testing of MOLD against

the two control groups, one control group remaining

unidentified except to the experimenter until the posttest-

ing; the other group meeting at the same periods as the

treatment group for an unstructured study hall, with voca-

tional-educational materials available.

Phase four is concerned with the three instruments

and the individual interview which measure the four vari-

ables being studied. Each instrument is administered to

all students and then each student has an individual

interview with a counselor, the purpose of such interview

being to give the student his curriculum selection sheet.


The research was conducted in Memphis, Tennessee,

a large metropolitan city of approximately 626,000 people.

Located in the extreme southwest corner of Tennessee, it

serves as a center for the rural and industrial region

known as the "Mid-South" or the "Tri-State" area. Memphis

provides a link to the Midwest, being the major crossing

point of the Mississippi River between St. Louis, Missouri,

and New Orleans, Louisiana.

The school in which the research was conducted is

Whitehaven High School, one of twenty-nine high schools in

the tenth largest school district in the United States.

The experimenter is currently employed as a counselor in

this school. The school has a staff of sixty-four and an

integrated student body of approximately fifteen hundred,

with an approximate ratio of ninety percent white and ten

percent black. Located in a suburban community in the

southern part of Memphis, Whitehaven was one of several

high schools which was annexed into the city system in 1970.

The socio-economic level of the students ranges from low,

many black students living in a low-income housing project,

to higher levels, students from professional families.

Whitehaven is a comprehensive high school, built in

1928, with a broad curriculum offering both college prepar-

atory and vocational programs. The college preparatory

curriculum includes these subject areas: English, mathe-

matics, social studies, science, language, music. Within

the vocational program, business, automotive shop, machine.

shop, cosmetology, and distributive education are offered.


The subjects for this research study were randomly

selected from those students enrolled in the ninth-grade

homerooms at Whitehaven High School during the spring, 1973.

These students came to Whitehaven from schools of varying

situations: junior high schools (grades seven through nine);

junior-senior high schools (grades seven through twelve);

and elementary schools (grades one through eight), pre-

dominantly the latter. Also included in the list for random

selection were those students who, because of their failure

to obtain enough credits, were repeating some ninth-grade

subjects and possibly taking some tenth-grade subjects, but

who were classified as ninth-grade students.

These students were given the opportunity to make

course selections within a few weeks following the study.

The research design utilized this factor in studying the

variables. The choices available to these students repre-

sented a broader scope than previously available, with the


options of an academic, a business, or a vocational program.


Phase Ones From a composite list of all students

assigned to ninth-grade homerooms, boys and girls separated,

forty-eight boys and forty-eight girls were selected,

using a table of random numbers from Fisher and Yates'

Statistical Tables for Biological and Medical Research

(1963). These students were randomly assigned to one

of three groups: Treatment, Control I, Control II.

Phase Two: The cumulative records of the students

selected were examined and the latest I.Q. score recorded.

An analysis of variance was computed to determine if a

significant difference existed among the three groups. If

there was no difference on this variable, the groups were to

be treated as statistically equal; if there was a difference,

adjustment was to be made by means of a co-variant analysis

in phase four.

Phase Three: Those students in the treatment group

spent one period daily, approximately fifty-five minutes,

rotating through the six available periods,.for a total

of eight days, experiencing MOLD. Each day one activity as

outlined by the MOLD program was presented. These are

briefly described by the following outline:

First Day
Activity li Personal Assessment
"Complete the Sentence"
Focus The process and personal relevance of
career decision-making

Second Day
Activity 2: Personal Assessment
"The Me Tree"
Focus: Understanding of abilities and interests

Third Day
Activity 3: Personal Assessment
"The Millionaire"
Focus: Personal values that affect career

Fourth Day
Activity 4: Occupational Exploration
Focus: Occupational groupings

Fifth Day
Activity 5: Occupational Choice
"Guess a Group Game"
Focus Personal reasons for selecting an
occupational area

Sixth Day
Activity 6: Educational Exploration
"The Simulation"
Focus: Educational requirements and electives

Seventh Day
Activity 7: Educational Choice
"The Simulation II"
FocusS Components of educational choices

Eighth Day
Activity 8: Other Exploration
Focus: Other possible actions

Those students in Control I spent one period daily,

approximately fifty-five minutes, rotating through the six

available periods, for a total of eight days, in a study

hall. There were no structured activities--rather, educa-

tional-vocational materials were made available, but with

no insistence that students use them. A teacher was in

charge of the study hall.


Those students in Control II,- while identified by

the experimenter, were not assembled until the adminis-

tration of the measurement instruments. At this time they

were instructed as to the tests to be administered and

the purpose for such testing.

Phase Fouri At the conclusion of the eight days, the

three measurement instruments and the interview were

administered to students in the three groups in the follow-

ing order: (1) test on graduation requirements; (2) Career

Development Inventory; (3) Survey of Study Habits and

Attitudes; (4) individual interview. The three paper-and-

pencil instruments were administered by the leader who

worked with each group, Treatment and Control I, and another

counselor with Control II. The individual interviews

were conducted by a counselor who did not have knowledge

of the group in which the student had been participating.

The interviews were standardized to include the question,

"Do you have any questions?" A taped recording was made,

allowing judges to listen and count the number of questions

each student asked.


Four different measuring techniques were used to

assess the effects of MOLD on ninth-grade students, one for

each of the independent variables included in the study.

To measure the student's knowledge of graduation require-

ments, each student was asked to list these requirements.

Using the Memphis Board of Education Curriculum Handbook as

a key, one point was awarded for each correct require-

ment listed.

An individual interview with each student was

conducted. At this time the counselor presented him

with a standard form on which the student was to indicate

his curriculum choices for the following school year. This

form listed all possible subjects and levels and necessitated

the student's making a decision which required his parents'

signature. This interview, conducted by the counselor using

a structured statement, was recorded, after which the tapes

were rated by judges, who assessed the effect of MOLD on

the number of questions asked by students by counting the


Two standardized instruments were used: the Brown-

Holtzman Survey of Study Habits and Attitudes, Form H (SSHA)

(1967), to assess school attitude and the Career Development

Inventory (CDI) (1972), to assess the level of vocational


The Survey of Study Habits and Attitudes

The Survey of Study Habits and Attitudes is described

in the manual as "an easily administered measure of study

methods, motivation.for studying, and certain attitudes

toward scholastic activities . ." (1967). Form H is the

high school edition. The survey consists of one hundred

statements to which the student responds in accordance with

how he feels about the statement in relationship to himself:

rarely, sometimes, frequently, generally, or almost always.

The answer sheets may be machine or hand scored, with the

results recorded on four basic scales (delay avoidance,

work methods, teacher approval, and education acceptance),

two subtotals (study habits, study attitudes), and a total

score (study orientation). For the statistical analysis in

this research study, the two subtotals and the total score

were used. Some of the research using the Survey of

Study Habits and Attitudes has been reported in Chapter II,

Review of the Literature, School Attitude and Its Measure-


The Career Development I:-.--.)7-

The Career Development Inventory is "an objective,

multifactor, self-administering, paper-and-pencil inventory

measuring the vocational maturity of adolescent boys and

girls" (Super & Forrest 1972). The inventory consists of

ninety-one questions, requiring various kinds of answers,

using either a series of differential statements or a

multiple choice format. Because of its vocabulary and

content and the reading difficulty level, the Career

Development Inventory is appropriate for junior and senior

high school students.

The test yields three scale scores, two attitudinal

(Planning Orientation and Resources for Exploration) and

one cognitive (Information and Decision-Making). For the

statistical analysis in this research study, the three scale

scores and the total score were used. Presently the Career

Development Inventory is unpublished, but has been offered

by Donald Super for research and field trials.1


The research questions presented in Chapter I were

tested at the .05 level of confidence, using the following

null hypotheses:

H1 There is no difference in the knowledge of
graduation requirements among boys and girls
in the treatment and control groups.

la There is no difference in the knowledge
of graduation requirements among subjects
in the treatment and control groups.
lb There is no difference in the knowledge
of graduation requirements between boys
and girls.
Ic There is no interaction between treatment
and sex in the knowledge of graduation

H2 There is no difference in the level of voca-
tional maturity among boys and girls in the
treatment and control groups.

2a There is no difference in the level of
vocational maturity among subjects in the
treatment and control groups.
2b There is no difference in the level of
vocational maturity between boys and girls.

Permission obtained from Donald Super, February, 1973.

2c There is no interaction between treatment
and sex in the level of vocational maturity.

H There is no difference in the vocational attitude
3 toward Planning Orientation among boys and girls
in the treatment and control groups.

3a There is no difference in the vocational
attitude toward Planning Orientation
among subjects in the treatment and
control groups.

3b There is no difference in the vocational
attitude toward Planning Orientation
between boys and girls.

3c There is no interaction between treatment
and sex in the vocational attitude toward
Planning Orientation.

H4 There is no difference in the vocational attitude
toward Resources for Exploration among boys and
girls in the treatment and control groups.

4a There is no difference in the vocational
attitude toward Resources for Exploration
among subjects in the treatment and control

4b There is no difference in the vocational
attitude toward Resources for Exploration
between boys and girls.

4c There is no interaction between treatment
and sex in the vocational attitude toward
Resources for Exploration.

H5 There is no difference in the cognitive Information
and Decision-Making among boys and girls in the
treatment and control groups.

5a There is no difference in the cognitive
Information and Decision-Making.among
subjects in the treatment and control groups.

5b There is no difference in the cognitive
Information and Decision-Making between
boys and girls.

5c There is no interaction between treatment
and sex in the cognitive Information and

H6 There is no difference in the Study Orientation
among boys and girls in the treatment and control

6a There is no difference in the Study Orienta-
tion among subjects in the treatment and
control groups.

6b There is no difference in the Study Orienta-
tion between boys and girls.

6c There is no interaction between treatment
and sex in Study Orientation.

H7 There is no difference in Study Habits among boys
and girls in the treatment and control groups.

7a There is no difference in Study Habits
among subjects in the treatment and control

7b There is no difference in Study Habits
between boys and girls.

7c There is no interaction between treatment
and sex in Study Habits.

H8 There is no difference in Study Attitudes among
boys and girls in the treatment and control

8a There is no difference in Study Attitudes
among subjects in the treatment and
control groups.

8b There is no difference in Study Attitudes
between boys and girls.

8c There is no interaction between treatment
and sex in Study Attitudes.

H9 There is no difference in the number of questions
asked among boys and girls in the control and
treatment groups.

9a There is no difference in the number of
questions asked among subjects in the
control and treatment groups.

9b There is no difference in the number of
questions asked between boys and girls.

9c There is no interaction between treatment
and sex in the number of questions asked.

Statistical Analysis

Using the .05 level of confidence as the determinant

of statistical significance, analysis was made on the

data obtained from each of the four measurements. A one-

way analysis of variance was applied to the data for

each major hypothesis, comparing the six groups: boys in

treatment group, boys in Control. I, boys in Control II,

girls in treatment group, girls in Control I, and girls in

Control II. When the F-ratios were significant at the .05

level or beyond, a three-by-two factorial analysis was

applied. When these F-ratios were significant at the .05

level or beyond, a Tukey's honestly significant difference

test was applied.


Results and Discussion

Making of Life Decisions (MOLD) is a simulation

experience designed to be used with middle school students,

emphasizing motivation through direct involvement. This

research study has focused upon the effects of MOLD on

ninth-grade students, using four variables as criteria:

knowledge of graduation requirements, behavior in a decision-

making situation, vocational maturity, and study habits and

attitudes. Four measurement instruments were administered

to a treatment group, which experienced MOLD, and two

control groups, one of which met for an unstructured study

period. These techniques included two standardized instru-

ments, Super's Career Development Inventory and the Brown-

Holtzman Survey of Study Habits and Attitudes, one paper-

and-pencil test, and an individual audio tape-recorded interview.

Random Selection of Subjects

As a means of substantiating the random selection of

students and their random placement in groups, an analysis

of variance was performed with the I. Q. scores of students,

on file in the cumulative folders. The results of the

analysis, presented in Table I, showed that there was no

significant difference among the groups. Thus, for statis-

tical purposes, the three groups were considered equal and

no covariant procedures were considered necessary. An

interesting observation has also been noted. The ninth-

grade class at Whitehaven High School numbers 440, with 45

black students or 10%. The random selection of 96 students

yielded nine Blacks or 9.5%, further supporting the validity

of the randomization.





Sum of of Mean
Sources Squares Freedom Square F-ratio

Amone 220.31 2 110.16 0.709

Within 12,582.93 81 155.35

Total 12,803.24

F95, d.f.= 2, 81 = 3.11
, 959



This study included the effects of MOLD upon four

variables. An analysis of the data collected has revealed

the following results, presented by hypothesis.

Hypothesis I

H1 There is no difference in the knowledge of
graduation requirements among boys and girls
in the treatment and control groups.

To assess the knowledge of graduation requirements of

students in the three groups, the question, "List the

requirements for graduation," was administered. With the

Memphis Board of Education Curriculum Handbook as a key,

one point was awarded for each correct response, the perfect

score being eight. Table II shows the mean scores of each

group. With an F-ratio significant at the .05 level of

confidence (see Table III), a factorial analysis was computed

which showed no significant difference by sex, nor a signi-

ficant interaction, but a significant group difference (see

Table IV). To determine exactly wherein the group differ-

ences lay, a Tukey's honestly significant difference was

computed. This showed significant differences among all

groups--treatment, Control I, and Control II (see Table V).





Boys 5.400 3.200 4.667 4.422

Girls 6.867 3.467 4.867 5.067

Groups 6.133 3.333 4.767

Mean 4.744

I = Treatment II = Control I III = Control II



Sum of of Mean
Sources Squares Freedom Square F-ratio

Among 117.621 2 58.811 15.072*

Within 339.501 87 3.902

Total 457.122 89

F95, d.f.= 2. 87 = 3.12
. 950

* Significant difference



Sum of of Mean
Sources Squares Freedom Square F-ratio

Group 117.621 2 58.811 15.315*

Sex 9.344 1 9.344 2.433

Group X Sex 7.625 2 3.813 0.990

Within 322.532 84 3.840
Total 457.122 89

F.95' d.f.= 1, 84 = 3.96
F.95, d.f.= 2, 84 = 3.11



T 6.133 -1.366* 2.800*

C11 4.767 ____1.434*

CI *3.333

Critical difference95, d.f.= 2, 84 = 1.209

Hypothesis II

H2 There is no difference in the level of voca-
tional maturity among boys and girls in the
treatment and control groups.

In assessing the effect of MOLD on ninth-grade

students' vocational maturity, the total score on Super's

Career Development Inventory was used as an index. The

means for each group are presented in Table VI. Upon

finding an F-ratio significant at the .05 level of confi-

dence (see Table VII), a factorial analysis was computed

which showed no significant difference between sexes and

no significant interaction, but which did show a significant

difference among the groups (see Table VIII). However, the

Tukey's honestly significant difference did not indicate a

significant difference among the means of any of the groups

in pair-wise comparisons (see Table IX).




Boys 343.733 366.600 315.133 341.822

Girls 353.667 332.400 321.611 335.889

Groups 348.700 349.500 318.367

Mean 338.856


Sum of of Mean
Sources Squares Freedom Square F-ratio

Among 18,570.355 2 9,285.178 3.342*

Within 241,704.767 87 2,778.216

Total 260,275.122

F95, d.f.= 2, 87 = 3.12


Sum of of Mean
Sources Squares Freedom Square F-ratio

Groups 18,570.355 2 9,285.178 3.364*

Sex 462.100 1 462.100 0.167

Group X Sex 9,363.877 2 4,681.939 1.696

Within 231,878.790 84 2,760.462

Total 260,275.122 89

F95, d.f.= 1, 84 = 3.96
F95, d.f.= 2, 84 = 3.15



C1 349.500 0.800 31.133

T 348.700 3---0.333

II 318.367

Critical difference95, d.f.= 2, 84 = 32.424

Hypothesis III

H There is no difference in the vocational
attitude toward Planning Orientation among
boys and girls in the treatment and control

The total score on Super's Career Development Inventory

is composed of three subscale scores. Group means of the

scores on the attitudinal scale, "Planning Orientation,"

are given in Table X. The analysis of variance revealed no

significant difference among the groups (see Table XI).

Hypothesis IV

H4 There is no difference in the vocational
attitude toward Resources for Exploration
among boys and girls in the treatment and
control groups.

Another aspect measured by Super's Career Development

Inventory was a student's vocational attitude toward

"Resources for Exploration." The mean score for each group

and the results of analysis of variance are given in

Tables XII and XIII. No significant difference was found

among the groups.

_ _



Boys 96.200 102.200 85.600 94.667

Girls 102.667 87.133 84.067 91.089

Groups 99.133 94.667 84.833

Mean 92.878



Sum of of Mean
Sources Squares Freedom Square F-ratio

Among 3,211.355 2 1,605.678 3.004

Within 46,499.301 87 534.475

Total 49,710.656 89

F.95, d.f.= 2, 87 = 3.12




Boys 233.610 248.533 224.467 232.200

Girls 234.867 231.200 223.133 229.733

Groups 234.233 239.867 218.800

Mean 230.967



Sum of of Mean
Sources Squares Freedom Square F-ratio

Among 7,137.266 2 3,568.633 1.834

Within 169,305.634 87 1,946.042

Total 176,442.900 .89

F95, d.f.= 2, 87 = 3.12
. 95'


Hypothesis V

H5 There is no difference in the cognitive
Information and Decision-Making among boys
and girls in the treatment and control groups.

The cognitive subscale of the Career Development

Inventory, "Information and Decision-Making," was the third

component of the overall vocational maturity score. Table

XIV represents the means of each group and Table XV, the

results of the analysis of variance. There was no significant

difference among the groups.

Hypothesis VI

H6 There is no difference in the Study Orientation
among boys and girls in the treatment and
control groups.

The variable of study habits and attitudes was assessed

by the Brown-Holtzman Survey of Study Habits and Attitudes

from which is derived a total score, "Study Orientation,"

composed of two subscores, "Study Habits" and "Study

Attitudes." The group means and the results of the analysis

of variance of the total score are shown in Tables XVI and

XVII. No significant difference at the .05 level of

confidence was found.




Boys 13.933 15.867 14.133 14.644

Girls 16.733 14.067 14.400 15.067

Groups 15.333 14.967 14.267

Mean 14.856



Sum of of Mean
Sources Squares Freedom Square F-ratio

Among 17.621 2 8.811 0.462

Within 1,657.501 87 19.052

Total 1,675.122

F95, d.f.= 2, 87 = 3.12





Boys 76.800 84.467 77.600 79.622

Girls 85.533 79.200 75.400 80.044

Groups 81.167 81.833 76.500

Mean 79.833



Sum of of Mean
Sources Squares Freedom Square F-ratio

Among 506.666 2 25.333 0.360

Within 61,229.834 87 703.791

Total 61,736.500 89

F95, d.f.= 2, 87 = 3.12

Hypothesis VII

H There is no difference in Study Habits among
boys and girls in the treatment and control

To determine if there was a difference in the study

habits of students in the three groups, an analysis of

variance was computed on the Survey of Study Habits and

Attitudes subscore. Tables XVIII and XIX indicate the

results of the analysis and the group means. There was

no significant difference.

Hypothesis VIII

H8 There is no difference in Study Attitudes
among boys and girls in the treatment and
control groups.

The subscore "Study Attitudes" of the Survey of

Study Habits and Attitudes was analyzed to assess the

effects of MOLD on ninth-grade students' study attitudes.

Table XX gives the group means. Table XXI, which gives

the results of an analysis of variance, shows that there

was no significant difference.




Boys 35.400 40.267 36.067 37.244

Girls 40.600 36.667 35.267 37.511

Groups 38.000 38.467 35.667

Mean 37.378



Sum of of Mean
Sources Squares Freedom Square F-ratio

Among 135.022 2 67.511 0.404

Within 14,544.134 87 167.174

Total 14,679.156 89

F.95, d.f.= 2, 87 = 3.12




Boys 41.400 44.200 41.533 42.378

Girls 45.600 42.533 40.133 42.756

Groups 43.500 43.367 40.833

Mean 42.567



Sum of of Mean
Sources Squares Freedom Square F-ratio

Among 135.466 2 67.733 0.270

Within 21,850.634 87 251.157

Total 21,986.100 89

F.95, d.f.= 2, 87 = 3.12


Hypothesis IX

H9 There is no difference in the number of questions
asked among boys and girls in the control and
treatment groups.

To assess the behavior of students in a decision-

making situation, a recorded interview was held for each

student individually, during which he was presented with a

curriculum sheet and the opportunity of selecting his courses

for the next year. The number of questions asked during

this interview was the criterion measured. Tables XXII and

XXIII show the group means for the questions asked and the

results of the analysis of variance. The significant F-ratio

found in the analysis of variance led to a factorial analysis,

presented in Table XXIV. This factorial analysis showed no

significant difference between sexes and no significant

interaction. However, there was a significant group differ-

ence. The Tukey's honestly significant difference, shown in

Table XXV, showed a significant difference between the treat-

ment group and Control II.




Boys 0.929 1.714 2.929 1.857

Girls 0.643 2.286 3.929 2.286

Groups 0.786 2.000 3.429

Mean 2.071



Sum of of Mean
Sources Squares Freedom Square F-ratio

Among 98.000 2 49.000 9.326*

Within 425.571 81 5.254

Total 523.571 .83

F.95, d.f.= 2, 81 = 3.11



Sum of of Mean
Sources Squares Freedom Square F-ratio

Groups 98.000 2 49.000 9.193*

Sex 3.429 1 3.429 0.643

Group X Sex 6.42? 2 3.214 0.603

Within 415.715 78 5.330

Total 523.571 83

F95, d.f.= 1, 78 = 3.11
F95, d.f.= 2, 78 = 3.11




CI11 3.429 1.429 2.643*

C 2.000 1.214

T 0.786 -
T ___ 0.786 _____ --- ____ r=-- -

difference95, d.f.= 2, 78 = 1.475


Discussion of the Results

A comprehensive assessment of the effects of MOLD on

ninth-grade students as reflected in the four independent

variables requires more than a statistical reporting of the

data; many questions remain unexamined and unanswered. The

statistical analyses show only where significant differences

exist; they do not explain the meaning of such differences,

nor do they reflect any other notable circumstances. Also,

in some situations, there are important factors to consider

even though there are no statistically significant differ-


Hypothesis I

The statistical results strongly support the hypothesis

that MOLD does affect a ninth-grade student's knowledge of

graduation requirements, the mean of the treatment group,

6.133, being significantly higher than either of the control

groups' means, 3.333 and 4.767 respectively, and considerably

higher than the grand mean, 4.744. The activities incor-

porated in MOLD emphasize an understanding of the high

school curriculum as it relates to the requirements. The

results would seemingly indicate that the method of presen-

tation of this material is effective.

The analysis of graduation data also revealed an

interesting phenomenon, the significant difference between

the two control groups. The uniqueness is that Control II

showed a greater knowledge of graduation requirements than

Control I. It is not possible to state explicitly why this

difference exists, but there are possible explanations.

Perhaps these data reaffirm the research of Evans and Cody

(1969), who found a significant difference in decision-

making strategy between a group receiving assistance with

decision-making strategy and a group receiving the material,

but with no assistance. Control I had material available

during the sessions of the experiment--a bibliography is

available in Appendix A--but had no instruction. Control II

received nothing, remaining in regular classes. The group

means would seem to suggest that nothing is at least equal

to an unassisted'presentation of material. Another plausible

explanation is that students in Control II benefited more

from remaining with a teacher in a regular class, regardless

of the subject matter being taught or the competence of the

teacher, than students in Control I, who were exposed to

materials specifically selected for their content relevant

to the question.

Finally, the analysis of data on graduation require-

ments showed no significant differences between sexes and

no significant interaction. It may be suggested that.the

activities of MOLD have a uniform effect upon students,

regardless of sex.

Hypothesis II

A second research variable was vocational maturity.

Although the F-ratios for the analysis of variance and for

the groups in the factorial analysis were significant, the

Tukey's honestly significant difference showed no signifi-

cant difference between any of the pair-wise comparisons.

Two factors may be identified as contributing to this result.

First, Tukey's honestly significant difference is a rela-

tively powerful test for "a posteriori" multiple comparisons,

setting the experimentwise error rate at the level of

significance (Kirk 1968). Secondly, it should be noted

that the significant F-ratios were not large, 3.342 with an

F.95, d.f.= 2,87 = 3.12; and 3.364 with an F95 d.f.=2,

84 = 3.15. The two factors combined may possibly explain

the lack of significant differences among pair-wise group

comparisons. It would seem feasible to conclude that there

are, for practical purposes, no significant differences

among the levels of vocational maturity. That MOLD does not

affect students' vocational maturity may perchance be

explained in that this research study with MOLD encompassed

only eight activities experienced over a time period of two

weeks. This is perhaps too short a time span to assess any

effect on vocational maturity. The relatively small number

of subjects could also have affected the results, as could

the sensitivity of the assessment instrument.

Another observation which arouses speculation is the

closeness of the means of the treatment group and Control I,

while the mean of Control II is much lower. It would appear

that the exposure of Control I to the material possibly

exerted some influence or at least suggested a direction for

the thinking of those students, while those students experi-

encing MOLD were being directly assisted. Therefore, the

means of these two groups are higher than that of Control II,

which received no such help.

Hypotheses III, IV, and V

The vocational maturity index can be divided into three

subscales: "Planning Orientation," "Resources for Explora-

tion," and "Information and Decision-Making." Although an

analysis of variance indicated no significant differences

with any of these, there are some notable trends and

observations. The group means for both "Planning Orientation"

and "Information and Decision-Making" demonstrated that

students in the treatment group did score higher than

students in either control group, though not significantly.

The fact that the activities of MOLD incorporate many

experiences related to these areas may account for these

trends. It is difficult, however, to account for the

closeness between the means of Treatment and Control I,

especially with "Resources for Exploration" where the mean

for Control I is higher than that for Treatment. It is

conceivable that the Hawthorne effect, special attention,

will account for such results, especially in that both the

mean for Treatment and the mean for Control I are somewhat

higher than the mean for Control II.

Hypotheses VI, VII, and VIII

Study habits and attitudes constituted the third

variable. The statistical analyses for the Survey of Study

Habits and Attitudes total score and the two subscores

revealed no significant differences. Like vocational

maturity, these results are probably attributable to the

short time span encompassed by this research study, as well

as to the number of subjects and the sensitivity of the

assessment instruments.

Hypothesis IX

The statistical data for the fourth variable, behavior

in a decision-making situation, using the number of questions

asked as the criterion, yielded significant F-ratios for the

analysis of variance and the factorial analysis for group

means. The lack of significant sex differences and inter-

action reflected a uniform effect of MOLD, making it

effective with students of both sexes and relatively free

from a compounded influence. The Tukey's honestly signifi-

cant difference indicated only one significant pair-wise

comparison, Treatment and Control II, but the Treatment and

Control I comparison was very close to significance. An

examination of the group means showed a positive trend,

with the means 0.786, 2.000 and 3.429 respectively. This

would seem to indicate that MOLD does effect a practical

influence upon student questions in a decision-making

situation. Students who experienced MOLD made their

curriculum choices with-fewer questions; students in

Control I apparently received partial answers to their

questions from the material, while students in Control II

had no source of information and thus, asked the greatest

number of questions. The total number of questions asked

by each group perhaps reflects the above concept more

explicitly Treatment, twenty-two (22); Control I, fifty-

six (56); Control II, ninty-six (96). From these data it

would thus appear that students experiencing MOLD learn

more, have an opportunity to practice decision-making, and

consequently, are ready to make decisions.

While the findings of this research study do not

support at a statistically significant level all of the

given hypotheses, there is sufficient reason to conclude

that MOLD does effect positive gains in students' knowledge

of graduation requirements and in their behavior in a

decision-making situation as exemplified by the number of

questions they ask. The effects of MOLD on a student's

level of vocational maturity and his study habits and

attitudes as studied in this research are inconclusive;

however, there are factors which suggest that further

research might prove productive.


Summary and Implications

Today's world of technology and era of rapid change have

combined to produce unique problems for adolescents, which

today's secondary schools are not coping with as effectively

as needed (Boocock and Coleman 1966; Hall, L. G. 1963; Raser

1969; Toffler 1970). Educational and vocational decision-

making ranks high among these problems. Innovations being

developed to augment and improve current educational practices

include a technique, not new, but until recently not recognized

for its educational potentialities--simulation.

Ninth-grade students at Whitehaven High School face a

challenging opportunity for decision-making, the selection

of a course of study for the next year. This is a particu-

larly difficult decision, for the available alternatives are

considerably broader than previously offered. Especially

significant is the fact that choices include vocational,

business, and college preparatory programs--choices which

have far-reaching influences on future decisions and


Making of Life Decisions (MOLD) is a simulation

experience designed for use with middle school students,

utilizing direct involvement as a means of motivation.

Through a series of eight activities students make personal


assessments, explore occupations and occupational choices,

and finally explore educational opportunities and make

educational choices. The last activities are simulated to

provide feedback of consequences.

Utilizing the particular situation of ninth-grade

students at Whitehaven, this research study was designed to

test the effectiveness of MOLD in preparing the students for

making the educational decisions they faced. Four independ-

ent variables were selected: knowledge of graduation require-

ments, level of vocational maturity, study habits and

attitudes, and behavior in a decision-making situation as

assessed by the number of questions asked.

For this study ninety-six students were randomly

selected from those students classified as ninth-grade

students and randomly assigned to one of three groups:

Treatment, Control I, Control II. The treatment group met

for one period, four times per week, for two weeks to

participate in MOLD; Control I met during the same periods

for an unstructured time, during which materials were made

available, but no assistance was offered. Appendix A

contains a bibliography of those materials made available

to Control I. Control II met only for the testing periods.

After the administration of the three written tests, each

student was interviewed by a counselor who was unaware of

the student's group membership.

Summary of Results

Statistical analysis of the data collected from the

assessment procedures and instruments demonstrated that

MOLD does have positive effects on students in some areas.

With the variable knowledge of graduation requirements,

statistical tests indicated a significant difference

between the three groups: Treatment, Control I, and

Control II. The treatment group was significantly higher

than both control groups; thus, MOLD did positively affect

knowledge of graduation requirements.

To assess students' levels of vocational maturity,

Super's Career Development Inventory was administered. The

total scores, utilized as the index of vocational maturity,

when analyzed, yielded a significant F-ratio for groups.

However, the pair-wise comparisons of Tukey's honestly

significant difference indicated no significant differences

among groups. It would thus seem that in actuality, MOLD

effected no difference in the vocational maturity of the

students. The analyses of the subscale scores, "Planning

Orientation," "Resources for Exploration," and "Information

and Decision-Making" indicated no significant differences.

Likewise, the total score "Study Orientation" and the two

subscores, "Study Habits" and "Study Attitudes" of the Brown-

Holtzman Survey of Study Habits and Attitudes, which was used

to measure the school attitude variable, reflected no differ-

ences among the three groups. In this study MOLD did

not effect any significant change in either of these two


The fourth variable was assessed by means of an

individual audio tape-recorded interview, during which

each student was asked to make course selections for the

following year. Judges rated the decision-making behavior

by counting the number of questions each student asked.

The analysis revealed a significant difference between

Treatment and Control II. The difference between Treatment

and Control I, though not significant, was large enough

that it would seem plausible to conclude that MOLD did have

an effect--Treatment students asking fewer questions,

indicating a readiness to make this decision.

Care must be exercised in generalizing the results of

this study to all ninth-grade students. The random selection

of students and their assignment to one of the three groups

was checked by means of an analysis of variance of I.Q.

scores, which indicated there were no significant differences.

Thus, the results may be considered valid for the ninth-

grade class at'Whitehaven High School, but further generali-

zation would be speculative. In reviewing the results of

this research, several relevant factors should be taken

into consideration. Any study utilizing standardized

assessment measures, especially concerning attitudinal

concepts, can only be as strong as the sensitivity of the

instruments. Such test scores are also accurate only to the

extent of the student's understanding of himself and his

ability to express this understanding; however, the randomi-

zation procedure should equalize across the groups any

student differences. Perhaps the greatest limiting factor

in this research was the situation. It was necessary,

because of working within a large school, to limit the

number of subjects. A larger number of subjects might

have reflected more or greater differences. Also, because

of the inflexibility of the school's schedule, time became

a crucial factor, not only in regard to the actual length

of each daily period, but also regarding the period of time

available over which the activities might be spaced.


One of the secondary outcomes of research is its

implications for further research and for practical applica-

tion. Several possibilities for further research have been

suggested by the results of this study. First, there are

many variables which might feasibly be relevant to an

assessment of the effects of MOLD on students. The quality

of the decisions made by students experiencing MOLD could

be evaluated. Such a study would provide an index of the

quality of MOLD's effects, as well as the quantity. The

decision-making situation experienced by the student could

be changed, affording an opportunity to determine other areas

besides educational choices in which MOLD may be effective.

A second possibility for further research could involve the

selection of subjects (students) in accordance with some

specific design. Factors could include race, socio-economic

level of family, or academic ability. Thirdly, the lack of

significant results in this study in regard to the level of

vocational maturity and to study habits and attitudes may

possibly be attributed to a time factor. It is thus conceiv-

able that a longitudinal study might reflect a significant

effect of MOLD on these variables.

This research, while suggesting several subsequent

study possibilities, also contains some implications for

the practical application of MOLD. The fact that students

in Control II knew graduation requirements significantly

better than students in Control I may well imply that the

mere presentation or availability of material is not

sufficient; and yet, too frequently this is what is prac-

ticed. School libraries and counseling offices have

extensive information available, but no organized assistance

is provided. Thus, MOLD may be one method of disseminating

such information in an efficient and effective manner. The

significant results obtained for the variable, behavior in

a decision-making situation, would imply that MOLD could be

an effective technique for preparing students to make educa-

tional and vocational decisions. Indeed, MOLD could serve

to implement present counseling practices, providing an

emphasis upon decision-making, one of the areas being

stressed in professional literature as crucial.

Making of Life Decisions (MOLD) is one possible

innovative technique for enabling counselors and teachers

to meet the needs of students in today's world of technology

and rapid change. The experiences provided are designed not

to teach specific facts, but rather to develop some of the

skills needed for meeting the problems which adolescents

face. The results of this research study provide support

for the belief that MOLD can make a difference and effect

positive gains in some of those areas so crucial to a

student's successful pursuit of an education and a better

life. Further research is necessary to ascertain with whom

MOLD is most effective, how effective MOLD can be and what

other areas it may influence.


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