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Vocational Interests 18 Years After College

Vocational Interests 18 Years After College

Edward K. Strong
Copyright Date: 1955
Edition: NED - New edition
Pages: 224
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  • Book Info
    Vocational Interests 18 Years After College
    Book Description:

    A pioneer in scientific vocational counseling, Edward K. Strong, Jr., devised the Strong Vocational Interest Blank some years ago as a tool to help the counselor find out what kind of work a young person is best suited for. In this volume Mr. Strong reports on a study which he undertook to determine the validity of the interest blank in predicting the future vocations of individuals. For this study, the interest scores of several hundred former college students were compared with the occupations in which these men were engaged 18 years later. The results provide answers to basic questions regarding the use of interest scores in vocational counseling. The findings also serve to confirm or modify the conclusions published earlier by Mr. Strong in his book Vocational Interests in Men and Women (a volume for which he was awarded the Butler Silver Medal by Columbia University). The original group whim the present study is based consisted of 884 Stanford University graduates whose interests had been revealed by the use of the Vocational Interest Blank while they were in college. Follow-up data on their actual careers are presented and analyzed for approximately three fourths of this number, the remainder being eliminated because they were engaged in occupations for which no specific scales were available. In addition to revising and amplifying Mr. Strong’s earlier work on the subject, this volume outlines a number of developments which provoke new problems and point the way for future research.

    eISBN: 978-1-4529-3688-8
    Subjects: Psychology

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. [i]-[vi])
  2. Preface
    (pp. [vii]-[x])
    E. K. S.
  3. Table of Contents
    (pp. [xi]-2)
  4. CHAPTER 1 Purpose and Procedure
    (pp. 3-16)

    THEVocational Interest Blankis used extensively in counseling students. Do interest scores actually contribute to guidance? How do we know this is so?

    If a man has an A rating on lawyer interest, a B rating on engineer interest, and a C rating on accountant interest, is there established evidence that the man should go into law, not accounting? What are the chances that he actually will become a lawyer or engineer? What are the chances he will not become an accountant?

    The instructions for using the interest blank say that “occupations rated A and B+ should be carefully...

  5. CHAPTER 2 Interest Scores in College and Occupations 18 Years After
    (pp. 17-35)

    THE primary purpose of this book, as indicated earlier, is to determine how well interest scores while in college predict the occupations engaged in 18 years later.

    The basic data consist of 34 occupational interest scores of 663 former college students, tested while in college and retested in 1949, together with their occupational record giving occupational choice while in college and occupation engaged in, in 1949. As an example, the test and retest scores of freshman No. 140 are given in Table 4. He stated in 1930 that he planned to be an engineer; in 1949 he was a farmer....

  6. CHAPTER 3 Differentiation of Employed from Non-Employed
    (pp. 36-54)

    HOW well do college interest scores differentiate those who enter an occupation from those who are otherwise employed?

    The preceding chapter showed that college students average a B+ rating in the occupation in which they will be employed 18 years later, a score which is 85 per cent of what might be expected from a new criterion group. The significance of this finding depends in part upon how students score who did not enter the occupation, for if both those employed and those not employed therein score in similar fashion, the test is of little value. How did those employed...

  7. CHAPTER 4 Estimates of Interest Profiles by Experts
    (pp. 55-61)

    THE primary question in this chapter is that of the two preceding chapters, namely: Does the vocational outcome of students agree with their occupational interests when in college? But here estimates of “experts” are employed to measure the degree of agreement between occupations and early interests, and the judgments are based on the interest profiles of many scores and not upon one score.

    The normal procedure of counselors is to estimate from interest profiles the occupation, or occupations, the man should consider. We all would like to know the accuracy of such predictions. There doesn’t seem, however, to be any...

  8. CHAPTER 5 Permanence of Interest Scores
    (pp. 62-66)

    “PERMANENCE of interest scores is somewhat less than for intelligence test scores but more permanent over the college period than college grades, and distinctly higher than for attitude test scores” (4). Present data reaffirm this conclusion of 1943.

    Data on permanence over 10 years were published in 1943 (4, Chapter 15) and over 22 years in 1951 (5) and in 1952 (6). To the above are now added data from graduate students and on 17 additional scales.

    Two different methods have been employed. First, test and retest scores on a single scale are correlated. Second, test and retest profiles including...

  9. CHAPTER 6 Interest Scores of Heterogeneous Groups of Students
    (pp. 67-72)

    HOW does a heterogeneous sample of college students score on a given occupational scale? In Chapters 2 to 4 we were concerned with how college students score on the scale appropriate to their 1949 occupation. In this chapter we are concerned with how 663 students score on a scale, regardless of whether the scale is related to their future occupations or not.

    Similar data on high school seniors are included. The two sets of data provide answers to such questions as these:

    1. How do high school seniors compare with college students as regards interest scores?

    2. How many A, B+, B,...

  10. CHAPTER 7 Variability of Scores
    (pp. 73-78)

    STABILITY or permanence of interest scores has been considered in Chapter 5 in terms of correlations between test and retest scores. But correlations of .48 to .79 do not preclude some large differences in individual cases.

    Two questions are considered in this chapter. First, how large are the differences between test and retest scores of individuals for an interval of 18 years? And, second, how significant are these differences in counseling? For example, a change in score from 46 to 39 would very likely affect counseling but the same decrease of 7 from 29 to 22, or even double that...

  11. CHAPTER 8 Change in Scores over Eighteen Years
    (pp. 79-89)

    CHANGES in scores over an interval of time may be attributed to many factors. Among these are maturation, acquired experience in one’s work, and change in occupation. What evidence is there that these three factors affect interest scores?

    As men become older it is natural that some interests will increase and some decrease. Thus, interest in activities involving physical skill and daring wane from 25 to 55 years of age, and some cultural activities increase over this age range (5, Chapters 12, 13). Change in interest scores may be attributed to maturation if all men increase or decrease their scores...

  12. CHAPTER 9 Why Interests and Future Occupations Vary
    (pp. 90-97)

    MOST of the “explanations” have been reserved for this chapter, the “ifs, ands, and buts” as to why interest scores are not better related to occupations engaged in 18 years later.

    Some of the factors which affect predictive validity are briefly reviewed here in order to picture the complexities of prediction.

    Validity of criterion. The predictive validity of a test has to be an expression of how well the test scores agree with the criterion, which in this study is occupation engaged in. By employing this criterion the author tacitly assumes it has merit. But he doesn’t know how good...

  13. CHAPTER 10 Satisfaction
    (pp. 98-118)

    SEVERAL explanations were given in Chapter 1 as to why the author has not used satisfaction as the criterion against which to check his interest test scores. One of the explanations is that satisfaction pertaining to occupational activity is not a distinct entity, separate from satisfaction associated with the physical and social environment surrounding the job; these two and other aspects of living contribute to general, over-all satisfaction, which in turn affects the satisfaction pertaining to each part. Thus, a man may like his work but exhibit great dissatisfaction because of poor health or trouble with his wife or children;...

  14. CHAPTER 11 The Masculinity-Femininity Scale
    (pp. 119-126)

    THE MF scale contrasts the interests of males and females. It has an odd-even reliability of .932, the third highest reliability of all scales for men; the author scale has a reliability of .938 and the engineer scale .937. The test-retest correlation for 200 freshmen over a 19-year interval is .78. The correlation has not been calculated for all 663 men over an average interval of 18 years, as is the case for the coefficients in Table 30.

    MF test means are 49.7 ± 10.6 for college freshmen, 49.3 ± 10.6 for seniors, and 48.7 ± 9.7 for freshmen, seniors,...

  15. CHAPTER 12 The Occupational Level Scale
    (pp. 127-136)

    THE OL scale contrasts the interests of 258 unskilled men with P, i.e., business and professional men (8, Chapter 10). The range of mean (not individual) scores is only 19, whereas the typical occupational scale has about 80 per cent greater range. The norms of a scale are usually based upon the mean and sigma of the criterion group. In the case of the OL scale the norms were based on a sample of 1000 cases which represented all men in the United States. If norms had been based on the unskilled men, P would have had a mean standard...

  16. CHAPTER 13 Interests and Prediction
    (pp. 137-145)

    HOW is it possible to predict future behavior in terms of interests? What are interests? How do interests “measure” drive? What other measures besides interests are needed to predict future behavior?

    Six criteria of interest may be mentioned — four qualitative and two quantitative (2, 5). Three of the criteria — attention, being stirred, and objects — are mentioned in the definition of interest from Webster’s dictionary, which reads: “a propensity to attend to and be stirred by a certain class of object.”

    Although it is true that one attends to something that interests one, the statement really adds very...

  17. CHAPTER 14 Abilities vs. Interests
    (pp. 146-156)

    “WHEN we talk about the relationships between interests and abilities we mean the relationship between interests and abilities as observed in behavior or as shown by test scores. It is better to talk about relationship between interests and achievements than between interests and abilities, because achievements are what are observed and measured, whereas abilities in large part are inferred from achievements.” (13, p. 13.)

    Practically all we know about the relationship between interests and achievements is based on correlations between scores on interest tests and scores on general intelligence, special ability, or scholastic achievement tests, or scholastic grades. Such data...

  18. CHAPTER 15 Problems and New Developments
    (pp. 157-182)

    THE writer had originally planned to review the literature on interests as a part of this text. The literature has, however, become so voluminous that it would require a great deal of time to cover the subject properly and surveying it would postpone publication of the follow-up material, already unduly delayed.

    As a substitute certain problems and new developments are briefly considered in this chapter. Some of this material is new, some is an addition to what was included in the writer’s earlier book. Present problems lead to new developments and new developments raise new problems. A recent article by...

  19. CHAPTER 16 Vocational Guidance
    (pp. 183-200)

    IT has been said that “A successful man is one who is doing the work he likes best — and is getting paid for it.” The objective of vocational guidance can very well be to make all men successful in the sense of this remark.

    A glance at the titles of papers read at meetings of psychologists, personnel managers, and guidance counselors indicates that greater emphasis is placed today upon personality adjustment than upon vocational adjustment. This condition may be a reflection of the training of counselors who take many courses regarding personality and very few or none regarding occupations,...

  20. INDEX
    (pp. 201-207)