A projective technique to help understand the non-rational aspects of withdrawal and undergraduate attrition
This paper outlines some of the research on student attrition and recognises some of the sensitivities that may be involved for students in dealing with an action that may be characterised by some, as a type of failure. The paper claims that in research, student’s responses to direct questions on the reasons for attrition may therefore be biased by social desirability. The paper therefore proposes a research technique involving projective devices that would help to circumvent the conscious defences of respondents and so help researchers gain a fuller, deeper and more complete understanding of the emotional issues involved in student attrition and retention. An example of what such a projective device could look like is presented and researchers in the area of student retention are invited to use this in their future research.
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