Selection on the Road to a Career: Evidence of Personality sorting in educational Choice

C.A.J.J. Boone, W. van Olffen*, A.H.W.M. Roijakkers

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


In this study we investigate whether the process of attraction, selection and attrition as described by schneider (1987) is already operative prior to labor market entry, i.e., in the educational phase of careers. We focused on selection with regard to the locus of control personality trait because of its firm conceptual and empirical relevance in both content and process of choice. Specific hypotheses were proposed as to the sorting of different personality types in study programs leading to different prospective professional careers. The study was carried out in a sample of 158 austrian students. We found strong support for our hypotheses in that (1) personality predicted specific study choices and (2) personality predicted different levels of rationality in the choice process. In addition, the findings also suggest that tighter matches between personality and study programs could be observed for students making rational choices. The results indicate support for the validity of the asa model in educational choice, provided the use of meaningful individual differences. Several promising avenues for future research are identified.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)61-78
JournalJournal of Career Development
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2004

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