An Investigation of Vocational Interests and Noctcaelador

Article excerpt

This study explored the relationship between vocational interests and noctcaelador, defined as strong interest in, and psychological attachment to, the night sky. University students (N = 134) completed the Vocational Preference Inventory (Form C) and the Noctcaelador Inventory. The results indicated that students scoring higher on noctcaelador also tended to score higher on realistic, investigative, artistic, and social vocational interests. Regression analyses suggested that artistic and investigative were the only vocational preferences which shared unique variance with noctcaelador. The results are discussed in the context of using learner interests in the night-sky as a teaching strategy.


Research suggests that students learn class material better when it is consistent with their interests (Woolfolk, 1993). Therefore, it is perhaps important for educators to understand students' interests and their respective correlates. One potential student interest recently identified as an area of psychological research is interest in watching the night-sky.

While various societies have watched the night-sky for thousands of years (Brecher & Feirtag, 1979; Hawkins, 1983), night-sky watching as an individual differences variable has only recently become a focus of scientific study. Kelly (2003) and Kelly and Kelly (2003) identified a latent construct which accounted for a majority of the variance in night-sky watching attitudes and behaviors. Kelly (2003) termed this construct noctcaelador and defined it as a strong interest in, and psychological attachment to, the night-sky.

Recent research has found that individuals who scored higher on noctcaelador also scored higher on the openness to experience factor of the five-factor model of personality (Kelly, 2004a), were more likely to allow opportunities to watch the night-sky to influence some basic life decisions, such as sacrificing sleep and choosing living accommodations (Kelly, 2004b), and had a preference for spending time outdoors (Kelly & Kelly, in press).

Holland (1997) articulated a model of students' vocational interests which included six dimensions, or interest types: Realistic (R: practical, enjoys working with mechanical devices and working outdoors), Investigative (1: enjoys scientific pursuits, working with abstract ideas, researching and analyzing), Artistic (A: values aesthetics, enjoys using imagination and creativity), Social (S: concern for human welfare, enjoys teaching, helping, and working with people), Enterprising (E: enjoys directing, organizing, and leading), and Conventional (C: prefers structured tasks, enjoys practical pursuits and clerical activities). The existence and validity of these six interest patterns have been supported by numerous research studies (Holland, 1985). The purpose of the current study was to understand students' interests better by exploring the relationship between noctcaelador and vocational interest patterns. Because of the exploratory nature of the study, no hypotheses were formed.


Participants and Procedure

After obtaining informed consent, 134 students (97 females) enrolled in undergraduate psychology courses were administered the self-report measures described below. The average age of the sample as 28.8 years (S/)= 10.6). The majority of the sample (83%) identified themselves as White/Caucasian.


Vocational Preference Inventory. Vocational interests were measured using the 30-item Vocational Preference Inventory, Form C (VPI-C: Holland, 1985; Lowman & Schurman, 1982). The VPI-C includes a list of 30 occupational titles, five for each of Holland's six vocational clusters. Participants in this study responded to VPI-C items using a 7-point Likert scale (1 = "strongly disinterested," 7 = "strongly interested"). Higher scores indicated greater interest in occupational clusters, internal consistencies have been reported between . …