Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)




This study was undertaken to compare the interests of social science majors with the interests of other adults based on data gathered from a survey of male students of Kansas State Teachers College, Pittsburg, Kansas. A differentiation between preferences of social science majors and those of the general population was made using Fisher's discriminant function.

A group of 121 social science majors were tested by means of a special mailing form (Form C) of the Ruder Preference Record. Sixty-two valid returns were used in this study.

The mean raw scores of the Social Science Majors tended to show a pattern of interest with the highest percentile ranks being obtained in the literary, social service, and musical areas. The lowest percentile ratings were in mechanical, computational, and scientific areas.

The scores of Social Science Majors tended to closely resemble the High School Teachers of Social Studies.

Fisher's discriminant function was used to obtain relative weights which could be applied to raw scores to produce a criterion regressed score.

Within the Social Science group there were two some-what different patterns. One group was the majors who ex-pressed satisfaction with the present occupation; the other group preferred "a different kind of work entirely."

The mean raw scores of the "Like" group tended to be higher in the areas of social service, literary, scientific, persuasive, and artistic activities; while the "Different" group obtained higher scores in the fields of computational, musical, and clerical activities. It was found that the "Like" group most closely resembled the High School Teachers of Social Studies.

When their scores were weighted, seventy-six per cent of the "Like" group were above the fiftieth percentile as com-pared to fifty-three per cent of the "Different" group. Forty-seven per cent of the "Different" group had scores below the fiftieth percentile--almost double the twenty-four per cent of the "Like" group.

On the basis of the weighted scores of Social Science Majors, it would seem that a differentiation is possible. Weighted scores discriminate consistently enough at higher levels of percentile rank to permit a distinction between those who are satisfied in a pattern of social science interests and those who do not profess interests in this field of endeavor.



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