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Repeated Judgments of Interest in Vocational Education: A Lens Model Analysis

James Athanasou
Sydney, Australia

The purpose of this study was to decompose student decision-making about the levels of subject interest in vocational education. Ten technical and further education students made 120 judgments of the level of classroom interest from actual protocols of responses. These paid participants repeated the judgments after receiving details of their personal judgment policy in graphical form and the actual environmental relationships in graphical form. Judges were operating in a relatively predictable environment (Multiple R=0.795). Cues involved the quality of teaching, the importance of the subject, ability, difficulty of the subject, whether the course was liked, study time and homework time. Results were analyzed in terms of a lens model in which judgment achievement is a function of the task properties, cognitive control and knowledge. Students' mean level of achievement correlation (Fisher Zr) increased from 0.31 to 0.39. There were no significant differences in the levels of lens model indices (G, Rs, C) from pre- to post-information judgments. Results suggested that students overcompensated in their efforts to maximize judgment accuracy and that they were not able to make full use of the entire range of cues. The results have implications for students' perceptions of their interest in vocational education subjects.

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