Date Approved

12-19-2018

Embargo Period

12-20-2018

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.S. Engineering

Department

Experiential Engineering Education

College

Henry M. Rowan College of Engineering

First Advisor

Bodnar, Cheryl

Second Advisor

Dahm, Kevin

Third Advisor

Farrell, Stephanie

Subject(s)

Safety education, Industrial; Engineering ethics

Disciplines

Chemical Engineering | Engineering Education

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to develop and validate an instrument that can measure how senior chemical engineering students make process safety decisions. The Engineering Process Safety Research Instrument (EPSRI) contains dilemmas that represent process safety scenarios, followed by three decision options, and 12-15 considerations that fall into pre-conventional, conventional, or post-conventional forms of reasoning. Three studies were completed as a part of this research. The content validation study ensured the dilemmas represented process safety scenarios, the considerations matched their perceived theoretical definitions, and that no content areas were omitted. This study resulted in validation of the content, following the elimination of one dilemma and eleven considerations. The large scale validation study determined the number of underlying latent variables present on the instrument including the correlation between considerations on a factor. The instrument was not able to be fully validated, but resulted in the elimination of one dilemma and six considerations with 22 considerations being revised for further study. The think aloud protocol with the EPSRI determined how students were classified based on their EPSRI scores, and their moral reasoning approaching these dilemmas. From this study, it was found that senior chemical engineering students mainly applied post-conventional reasoning, despite all the students not being classified as post-conventional based on their EPSRI responses.

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