Courage versus Tolerance of Ambiguity among Young Adults Making Career Decisions. The Moderating Effect of Life Orientation

Published: 12 December 2023| Version 1 | DOI: 10.17632/gbh5mt36hk.1
Anna Paszkowska-Rogacz


Abstract The aim of the study was to describe the relationship between courage and tolerance of ambiguity in young adults making career decisions, and to determine whether life orientation, i.e. transitive or moratory, moderates the relationship, and to what extent. A total of 229 people (145 women and 84 men) aged between 19 and 26 took part in the study. Courage was determined using a bespoke adaptation of the Courage Scale, and tolerance of ambiguity using the Tolerance of Ambiguity in Career Decision Making Questionnaire. Life orientation was measured using the KPS-S2 Social Participation Questionnaire. It was found that moratory and transitive orientations moderated the relationship between courage, as the independent variable, and aversion to tolerance of ambiguity, as the dependent variable. The moderation analyses identified an interaction between low and medium moratory orientation and courage, and between medium and high transitive orientation and courage. In both cases, the interaction resulted in a reduction of aversion to tolerance of ambiguity.


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The study involved 229 young adults, 145 women and 84 men, aged 19 to 26 years (M 22.6, SD = 1.83). The participants were students of several faculties at the University of Lodz and the Technical University of Lodz. In selecting the sample, care was taken to differentiate the respondents in terms of their career preferences, as manifested in their choice of study fields. The structure of the group, with regard to types of occupational preference identified on the basis of Holland (1997), is presented in Fig. 1. In the study group, social and entrepreneurial preferences were the most common, together accounting for 57.6% of the respondents, and artistic preferences were the rarest, represented by 8.3%. The group was also heterogeneous in terms of work experience. The majority of respondents had more than one year’s work experience: most were currently working (62.9%) while some were not (22.3%). Some of the active respondents had worked for less than one year (8.7%). The smallest group (6.1%) was made up of respondents who had not yet undertaken any work. Data was collected via a secure online testing platform developed for psychological research. Participation was voluntary and respondents were offered incentives and personalised psychological reports for taking part. Due to the nature of the online testing platform, no missing data were observed.


Uniwersytet Lodzki


Psychology, Ambiguity, Career