Decision theory and occupational choice: Some longitudinal data


Department of Social Science, The City University, Northampton Square, London EC1V 0HB.


Several variants of behavioural decision theory were employed to predict the occupational intentions of 79 final-year engineering students. Questionnaires were administered at 2 weekly intervals for 14 weeks. It was found that several models succeeded in predicting significantly; that predictive power increased over the period; and that intentions predicted the job actually obtained. In addition, some support was obtained for an effect of outside events upon intention change; and also for this effect to be working through the mediating process postulated by decision theory. Certain implications of the data for student counselling were drawn, and support was obtained for the analysis of engineering in the United Kingdom proposed by the Finniston Report.