Dissertation Abstract

Dogmatism and Integrative Complexity as Related to Discipline, Administrative Level, and Selected Personal Characteristics of Allied Health Educational Administrators.

Publication Number:  AG8212492
Author:  Blagg Jr., James
School:  University Of Washington
Date:  1981
Pages:  183
Subject:  Education, Allied Health

The purpose of this study was to investigate the feasibility of utilizing cognitive style to select potentially effective leadership personnel for allied health educational administration programs. The sample consisted of 360 allied health program directors and deans. The subjects were mailed an instrument consisting of the Interpersonal Topical Inventory (Tuckman, 1966), an abbreviated version of the Rokeach (1960) Dogmatism Scale (Steininger & Lesser, 1974) and a questionnaire designed by the investigator to collect demographic data. Fifteen hypotheses were formulated. Data were analyzed by t-tests, F tests for homogenity of variance, Chi-square, multiple regression, and Pearson product-moment correlations.

The findings of this study indicated that: (1) Allied health educational administrators as a whole possessed similar cognitive styles. They were low in dogmatism and high in integrative complexity. (2) Administrators of each given allied health discipline were not less diverse in cognitive style than the total subject pool, nor were higher level administrators less diverse in cognitive style than those in lower level positions. (3) Cognitive style was a poor predictor of administrative level. (4) Cognitive style was significantly related to level of education. The findings suggested that as the educational level increases the level of integrative complexity increases and the level of dogmatism decreases. (5) There was a significant negative correlation between the level of dogmatism and the level of integrative complexity. (6) Males had significantly more education and administrative experience than females.

The implications of these findings were discussed. The data were interpreted as being supportive of Messick's (1976) premise that cognitive styles are related to vocational preferences and choice of major field as well as to relative performance within fields. The dimensions of dogmatism and integrative complexity seemed to provide a potentially powerful basis for the selection of appropriate individuals for allied health educational administration programs.

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