نقش شخصیت در انتخاب های اصلی: با و بدون خوداثربخشی شغلی و منافع
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی||تعداد کلمات|
|26298||2010||12 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید||7850 کلمه|
Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Journal of Vocational Behavior, Volume 76, Issue 2, April 2010, Pages 211–222
The purpose of this study is to examine the role of personality traits measured by the Multidimensional Personality Questionnaire (MPQ; Tellegen, 2000 and Tellegen and Waller, 2008) in selecting educational majors. Personality traits were examined alone, and with the combination of Holland’s hexagonal confidence domains, as measured by the general confidence themes (GCT) of the Skills Confidence Inventory (SCI; Betz, Borgen, & Harmon, 2005), and Holland’s interest domains, as measured by the general occupational themes (GOTs) of the 2005 Strong Interest Inventory (SII; Donnay, Morris, Schaubhut, & Thompson, 2005). Personality traits significantly contributed to the discrimination of nine educational major families in a sample of 368 undergraduate decided students. When the set of confidence and interest scales was added to the personality traits, the conservative jack knife hit rate was almost doubled.
In vocational counseling, counselors sometimes assume that certain personality traits in a client may make her/him more or less likely to pursue a particular major. For example, extraverted clients may be seen as more likely to pursue business careers; neurotic clients may be viewed as more likely to be interested in artistic pursuits. Likewise, John Holland in his writings noted that choice of occupation and by extension, choice of educational major, is an expression of personality (Holland, 1997). Also, the role of personality traits in vocational choice actions (e.g., selection of a major) is explained in social cognitive career theory (SCCT; Lent, Brown, & Hackett, 1994) and forms the conceptual foundation of the study. That is, personality is a precursor to vocational choice actions and influences choice actions through domain-specific self-efficacy and interests. The intent of this article is to examine how personality traits can help differentiate one’s choice of college major. In order to accomplish this goal, it was necessary to choose a personality model that was comprehensive and yet parsimonious, in which personality traits already were shown to relate to interests closely corresponding to college majors. Including personality traits closely related to interest would be helpful for counselors to assist vocational clients in choosing majors that are consistent with their interests and personality traits. For example, an extraverted client who is socially persuasive would be well suited to choose a marketing college major. Some work relating personality and college major has come from an examination of the personal style scales of the 1994 Strong Interest Inventory (Harmon, Hansen, Borgen, & Hammer, 1994) which are global measures of preferences in living (e.g., learning environment) and working (e.g., work style) derived from interest items. The personal style scales have been shown to differentiate among college majors (Donnay et al., 2005, Gasser et al., 2007 and Rottinghaus et al., 2006). Although information linking the personal style scales with choice of major is informative, it is limited due to the personal style scales being mostly related to extraversion and openness (Lindley & Borgen, 2000) and the personal style scales being related to but distinct from personality traits (see Donnay et al., 2005 and Harmon et al., 1994). 1.1. Personality alone In this study, we chose a well known personality model developed by Auke Tellegen and colleagues consisting of 11 comprehensive, nonoverlapping personality traits, which were operationalized in the Multidimensional Personality Questionnaire (MPQ, Tellegen, 2000 and Tellegen and Waller, 2008). The 11 MPQ primary scales have several strengths in investigating the association between personality and selection of college majors. First, the 11 MPQ primary scales capture distinct personality dimensions. For example, Tellegen and colleagues differentiated extraversion into three components: (a) love/affiliation labeled the social closeness primary scale, (b) social dominance or power labeled the social potency primary scale, and (c) control versus impulsivity labeled the control primary scale (Tellegen & Waller, 2008). This distinction of extraversion into more precise nonoverlapping traits is necessary in order to differentiate college majors that are enterprising in nature and more socially dominant (e.g., marketing) from those college majors that are social in nature and more affiliative in nature (e.g., elementary education). The capacity of the MPQ’s social potency and social closeness scales to differentiate between enterprising and social interests has been demonstrated in the literature (Staggs et al., 2003 and Staggs et al., 2007). Second, the MPQ’s 11 personality traits have already been shown to predict specific interests that may map onto college major. For example, harmavoidance has been shown to be negatively related to realistic interests and specifically interests in mechanical activities (Staggs et al., 2003 and Staggs et al., 2007). Third, the MPQ is comprehensive and includes the Big Five as well as additional traits beyond the Big Five. Six of the 11 MPQ primary scales have been used as markers of the Big Five: namely stress reaction (neuroticism), social closeness and social potency (extraversion), absorption (openness), aggression (inverse of agreeableness), and control (conscientiousness; Blake & Sackett, 1999; Church, 1994 and Tellegen and Waller, 2008). Traits not used as markers of the Big Five include wellbeing, achievement, alienation, traditionalism, and harmavoidance. The MPQ is organized into three higher order factors, namely positive emotionality (PEM), negative emotionality (NEM), constraint, and one distinct primary scale labeled absorption. The first higher order factor, PEM, comprises an agentic and communal component (Church, 1994 and Tellegen and Waller, 2008). Agentic PEM includes three primary scales and captures positive emotions (wellbeing) and interpersonal effectiveness (social potency) and noninterpersonal effectiveness (achievement). Communal PEM includes two primary scales (social potency and social closeness) and captures interpersonal connectedness (Tellegen & Waller, 2008). Three primary scales are included in NEM and encompasses negative emotions (stress reaction) and the tendency to be involved in antagonistic interpersonal transactions (aggression and alienation) (Tellegen & Waller, 2008). The constraint factor measures behavioral inhibition and includes three primary scales capturing cautiousness (control), tendency to avoid fear (harmavoidance), and conventionality (traditionalism). Finally, the primary scale, absorption, captures susceptibility to external stimuli. Although it includes both PEM and NEM, it is considered distinct (Tellegen & Waller, 2008). No article was located related to personality traits embedded in the MPQ and the selection of college major with one exception (Ackerman & Beier, 2003). They used only three MPQ primary scales and used college majors retrospectively. They applied Ackerman and Heggestad’s (1997) model to differentiate four major families. They created a trait complex z score for each trait complex by combining measures of specific personality traits, interests, and abilities that conceptually fit the model and that empirically loaded on the same factor. Of the three complexes, only the intellectual/cultural trait complex and the social trait complex included personality traits—absorption, social closeness, and social potency—measured by the MPQ. Their visual display showed that the trait complex z scores varied across the four academic major families (science/math, arts/humanities, social science, and business). One disadvantage of this study was that the authors were unable to determine the unique contribution of the specific personality traits in the separation of the four educational major families. Also, there were no majors included that would have fit within the clerical/conventional trait complex. Although no other studies looking at college major using the MPQ were located, we identified only two additional studies that used the Big Five measured by some version of the NEO-PI-R (Costa & McCrae, 1992). De Fruyt and Mervielde (1996) sampled university students in Belgium and showed that the Big Five using a Dutch version of the NEO-PI-R differentiated 21 majors. They did not provide mean differences or any details about the significant functions in the discriminant analysis. Larson and colleagues (2007) provided evidence that, in a Taiwanese undergraduate sample, the Big Five personality traits contributed to distinguishing among four educational majors. Significant mean differences across majors were seen on agreeableness (inverse of MPQ aggression). 1.2. Personality with self-efficacy and interests An additional purpose of the present study was to determine if self-efficacy and interests would remain potent predictors of vocational choice after personality traits have been considered. According to SCCT, personality is a distal determinant of choice actions while vocational self-efficacy and vocational interests are more proximal determinants. The influence of vocational self-efficacy as measured by the SCI (e.g., Betz and Rottinghaus, 2006, Larson et al., 2007 and Rottinghaus et al., 2003) and interests as measured by the SII (e.g., Betz and Rottinghaus, 2006, Donnay et al., 2005, Gasser et al., 2007, Harmon et al., 1994 and Rottinghaus et al., 2003) in the choice of educational major has been well established in the literature and is not the focus of this study. Rather, we wanted to determine if self-efficacy and interest add incremental variance to choice actions after personality traits have been included. Prior studies have not explored this avenue. Other models besides SCCT support the assertion that personality will not be as salient as interests in the selection of an educational major. For example, Ackerman and Heggestad (1997) proposed a model whereby interests provide the motivation for the selection of activities, while personality and ability determine the success of those actions. From their perspective, interests should be more salient in choice of major while personality should be more salient in such things as satisfaction with the major. This assertion is consistent with the findings of Logue, Lounsbury, Gupta, and Leong (2007) who showed that business majors’ satisfaction with their major was positively related to emotional stability, extraversion, and conscientiousness and minimally related to enterprising interests. Besides studies using the personal style scales of the SII, no authors have examined how these three sets (personality, self-efficacy, and interests) uniquely and collectively contribute to college major. Ackerman and Beier (2003) provided evidence that personality, ability, and interests were part of a constellation of measures that visually separated major families on a graph. But they included only three personality traits and did not investigate the unique contribution of personality. De Fruyt and Mervielde (1996) showed that the Big Five and Holland’s interests were predictive of students’ fields of study in Belgium. They did not measure self-efficacy. Larson and colleagues (2007) provided evidence that, for Taiwanese college students, vocational self-efficacy contributed significantly above and beyond the Big Five to the discrimination of educational majors. However, they did not measure interests and they did not measure personality traits beyond the Big Five. According to SCCT and the results of De Fruyt and Mervielde and Larson and colleagues, we anticipated that self-efficacy and interests would contribute significantly above and beyond personality to the discrimination of college majors. In our study, students were screened, over the course of five semesters, so that only students who stated on a three-point scale (undecided, somewhat decided, decided) that they were decided about their majors were selected. Prior studies relied on the year in school as a proxy for decidedness (e.g., sophomores should be more decided than 1st year students) despite evidence from vocational counselors that students vary as to when they decide on a major. The resulting sample used in this study included nine educational major families; namely engineering, sport and exercise physiology, physical and biological sciences, architecture/design, humanities majors (e.g., journalism, languages, history, English, philosophy), social science majors (e.g., psychology, sociology), elementary education, business excluding accounting (e.g., management, marketing), and computer science/accounting majors. Accounting was placed with computer science because of its focus on data management and very little emphasis on people skills in contrast to other business majors like management or marketing/advertising. 1.3. Overview The first objective of this study was to determine if personality relates to the selection of a major. We expected that the 11 personality traits measured by MPQ would significantly discriminate across the nine educational major families. 1.3.1. Positive emotionality We anticipated that the PEM communal factors, namely social potency and social closeness would differentiate more people-oriented majors (e.g., business, elementary education) from majors that were less people oriented, such as engineering (Ackerman & Beier, 2003). More precisely, we expected that social closeness (affiliation component of extraversion) would be useful in separating elementary majors from engineering majors and that social potency (social dominance component of extraversion) would help separate business majors from other majors. Social closeness has been shown to be related to teaching interests (Staggs et al., 2007) and the inverse of social closeness was significantly predictive of mechanical interests (Larson and Borgen, 2002 and Staggs et al., 2003). Social potency was shown to be a significant predictor of sales interests (Larson and Borgen, 2002 and Staggs et al., 2003). Wellbeing may be useful in the separation of majors thought to have more social interests (e.g., elementary education) from other majors (Staggs et al., 2007). Achievement was anticipated to potentially be useful in the separation of science majors from other majors, because achievement has been shown to be related to science interests (Larson and Borgen, 2002 and Staggs et al., 2007). 1.3.2. Negative emotionality We anticipated that aggression (inverse of agreeableness) would be useful in differentiating majors that were thought to have more social interests (e.g., elementary education) from those that have less social interests (e.g., engineering) because aggression has been shown to negatively related to social interests and teaching interests (Staggs et al., 2007) and agreeableness (inverse of aggression) has been shown to be positively related to social interests (Larson et al., 2002 and Larson et al., 2007). No hypotheses were made concerning stress reaction due to mixed findings. Staggs and colleagues (2003) showed that the inverse of stress reaction was significantly predictive of athletic interests, but other studies found no linkages of stress reaction or neuroticism to interests (Barrick et al., 2003, Larson et al., 2002 and Staggs et al., 2007) or self-efficacy (Larson & Borgen, 2006). Alienation was not anticipated to vary across major based on prior studies (Larson and Borgen, 2006, Larson et al., 2002 and Staggs et al., 2003). 1.3.3. Constraint Harmavoidance (tendency to prefer fear over boredom) may have an influential role in differentiating among educational majors. Although no study has investigated directly the role of harmavoidance in the selection of college majors, indirect evidence suggests that harmavoidance may differentiate engineering from other major families. Studies have shown that harmavoidance provided considerable unique variance to the prediction of realistic and mechanical interests (Larson and Borgen, 2002, Staggs et al., 2003 and Staggs et al., 2007) as well as realistic confidence (Larson & Borgen, 2006). No hypotheses were made concerning control (conscientiousness) based on most evidence showing little to no linkages of control to conventional interests (e.g., Larson et al., 2002 and Staggs et al., 2007) or confidence (e.g., Larson & Borgen, 2006). No hypotheses concerning traditionalism was generated based on inconsistencies in the literature (Ackerman and Heggestad, 1997 and Staggs et al., 2007). 1.3.4. Absorption We hypothesized that absorption would be helpful in separating majors in the arts and humanities from majors that were less literary or artistic (e.g., computer science). This hypothesis was based on Ackerman and Beier’s (2003) work and indirect evidence that absorption contributed substantially to the prediction of interests in the arts/music/dramatics (Larson and Borgen, 2002 and Staggs et al., 2003). 1.3.5. Self-efficacy and interests As to the second objective of this study, we expected that the combination of personality, self-efficacy, and interests would significantly discriminate educational majors and that self-efficacy and interests would significantly discriminate across educational majors above and beyond the contribution of personality.