Document Type


Date of Degree

Fall 2011

Degree Name

PhD (Doctor of Philosophy)

Degree In

Counseling, Rehabilitation and Student Development

First Advisor

Elizabeth Whitt

First Committee Member

Ernest T. Pascarella

Second Committee Member

Debora L. Liddell

Third Committee Member

William M. Liu

Fourth Committee Member

Shelly Campo


The purpose of this research was to examine the influence of co-curricular involvement on the need for cognition. Using multiple regression, I analyzed the relationship between co-curricular involvement and the need for cognition while controlling for sex, race, pretest, precollege academic motivation, SES, precollege academic ability, high school involvement, institutional type, work, residence, major, non-classroom interactions with faculty, and the kind of instruction. I also analyzed whether race, sex, or the type of institution students' attend further influenced the effect of involvement on the need for cognition

The main effects model found the impact of involvement on the need for cognition to be statistically non-significant. While looking at conditional effects, I found being involved had a small, but positive, statistically significant impact on the need for cognition for non-white students. Also during this exploration I found sex and institutional type did not significantly impact the effects of involvement on the need for cognition. The suggestions for future research include replicating the current study and examining the impact of specific co-curricular involvement opportunities; following-up this study with a qualitative study to discover what students are gaining from co-curricular involvement; looking for additional conditional effects; and exploring what other college experiences impact the need for cognition.


vi, 94 pages


Includes bibliographical references (pages 83-94).


Copyright 2011 Gina Tagliapietra Nicoli