Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education


College of Education and International Services


Educational Psychology, Ed.D.

First Advisor

Conrad A. Reichert

Second Advisor

Bernard M. Lall

Third Advisor

Martha K. Lorenz



Both vocational choice and value system development are processes that continue to dominate one's life-style. How do decisions in one area relate to those in the other? This study examined the value patterns held by individuals in different occupational environments, and investigated the relationship between these value patterns and vocational choices.


Rokeach's Value Survey was administered to 180 participants from 49 counties in southern Michigan. Their individual value rankings or profiles were classified according to the occupational environments as defined by Holland's theory of vocational choice. Six aon-parametric statistical techniques— the Kruskal-Wallis one-way ANOVA, the Kendall Coefficient of Concordance, W, the Spearman Rank Correlation Coefficient, Cattell's Coefficient of Pattern Similarity, the Extension of the Median Test, and the Mann-Whitney 0 Test— were used to analyze the data on terminal and instrumental values. Two hypotheses were advanced for testing and validation: (1) Persons employed in the same occupational environment show no difference in their value profiles, and (2) Persons employed in different occupational environments show no difference in their value profiles.


Using composite rank orders derived from medians, it was found that the subjects in this study considered family security as the most important terminal value, followed closely by self-respect and freedom. National security, salvation, and social recognition were considered least important of the eighteen terminal values. The sample chose honest as the most important instrumental value. Next came responsible and broadminded. At the bottom of their list were clean, imaginative, and obedient. When the subjects were grouped according to the occupational environments in which they were employed, the degree of agreement within each of the six occupational environments was found to be significant at the .001 level. When the six groups were compared with each other negative correlation coefficients of pattern similarity described 30 out of the 32 paired comparisons, fourteen of which were significant at the .05 level. Further tests revealed that three terminal values— a world of beauty, a sense of accomplishment, and an exciting life— and two Instrumental values— clean and intellectual— could be used to discriminate between the six groups at the .05 level. Artistic and realistic persons were found to differ from other groups most often when their value rankings were compared.


The evidence gathered failed to reject the first null hypothesis at the .01 level, but rejected the second at the .05 level. Hence, persons employed In the same occupational environment tend to rank their values In a similar way, while persons employed In different occupational environments rank their values differently from each other. It was not possible to characterize the value profiles of all the occupational groups. Further research Is needed, but although the findings were somewhat limited In scope, they nevertheless provided sufficient evidence that human values were correlated with occupational choice.

Subject Area

Vocational interests; Values


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