Doctoral Dissertations

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Industrial and Organizational Psychology

Major Professor

Michael Rush


This study addresses issues related to the education and training of adults. In the past, adult education theorists and practitioners have generally prescribed that all adult learners would learn more and have more favorable responses to collaborative, participative types of training. While the strict dichotomization of learners based solely on their chronological age has recently been de-emphasized, there still remains a lack of clarity regarding which training types to use with adult learners. The study addresses the fact that the theory and practices of andragogy, or adult learning theory, were derived primarily from non-traditional age college students. Non-traditional age college students are adults who have returned to college in continuing education programs. The point is made that the theories and principles may not generalize from voluntary adult learning situations to training programs in industry, where the training is often times mandatory. It was proposed that learning styles, achievement levels, locus of control, and ego development levels would need to be assessed in order to determine the most advantageous training style for individuals. These were assessed by using The Leaming Style Inventory (Kolb, 1981), The California Psychological Inventory (Gough, 1957), The Locus of Control Scale (Rotter, 1966), and The Measure of Ego Development (Loevinger, 1976).

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