ArticlePDF Available

Abstract and Figures

Research has shown that vocational interests are important predictors of a number of life outcomes. Therefore, understanding individuals' vocational interests can also help to explain and predict their attitudes, behavior, and motives. The goal of the present study was to examine changes in vocational interests over time and explore whether these changes could be partially explained by employees' interactions with their work environments. We started by developing a theoretical framework that links interest development to the broader notion of person-environment (P-E) fit. Using a sample of 933 individuals entering the workforce, vocational interests, ratings of the work environment, and job satisfaction were assessed at 3 time points over the course of a 22-year longitudinal study. Results showed both stability (correlations ranging from .26 to .80) and change (d's ranging from .03 to .34 in absolute value) in vocational interests over time. In addition, individual differences in vocational interest change were also associated with corresponding changes in the work environment, suggesting that employees gravitate toward work environments that fit with their interests and their vocational interests are then predicted by their experiences in these environments. Similarly, we found that job satisfaction was positively associated with changes in interest fit such that individuals who were more satisfied with their jobs also experienced greater changes in interest fit. These results suggest that interactions between individuals and their work environments can play an important role in shaping vocational interests and understanding employee behavior over time. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2020 APA, all rights reserved).
Content may be subject to copyright.
A preview of the PDF is not available
... The high stability in interest traits does not imply, however, that at a given age, interest traits are fully fixed. Instead, interest traits have been shown to develop across adulthood (e.g., Hoff, Song, Einarsdóttir, et al., 2020;Nye et al., 2020). As drivers for interest development, reinforcement, socialization, and normative social transition processes have been proposed, suggesting that interactions between persons and environment contribute to shaping vocational interest traits over time (e.g., Golle et al., 2019;Hanna et al., 2021;Hidi & Renninger, 2006;Holland, 1997;Nye et al., 2020;Stoll, et al., 2021). ...
... Instead, interest traits have been shown to develop across adulthood (e.g., Hoff, Song, Einarsdóttir, et al., 2020;Nye et al., 2020). As drivers for interest development, reinforcement, socialization, and normative social transition processes have been proposed, suggesting that interactions between persons and environment contribute to shaping vocational interest traits over time (e.g., Golle et al., 2019;Hanna et al., 2021;Hidi & Renninger, 2006;Holland, 1997;Nye et al., 2020;Stoll, et al., 2021). ...
... Exploring how (repeated) within-person processes of interest states can drive interest trait development (Neubauer et al., 2021;Wrzus & Roberts, 2017) would clarify long-term, developmental dynamics in interests (see also . For example, the notion that interest traits stabilize over time (Low et al., 2005) because persons strive towards environments that fit and strengthen their existing interest traits Nye & Roberts, 2019;Nye et al., 2020) could be substantiated with evidence from the state level. Based on the notion that persons gravitate towards fitting environments, one could expect younger persons with typically less stabilized interests (Low et al., 2005;Stoll et al., 2021) to report more diversity in their momentary interests than persons with more stabilized interests. ...
Thesis
Interessen werden meist aus einer Trait- oder State-Perspektive beforscht. Erst kürzlich wurden die beiden Perspektiven in einem theoretischen Modell integriert (Su et al., 2019), das postuliert, dass sich Interesse-Traits als intraindividuell variierende States manifestieren. Aufbauend auf dieses Modell untersucht die vorgelegte Dissertation Interessen anhand der wichtigsten Taxonomie für Interesse-Traits—Hollands (1997) Taxonomie beruflicher Interessen. Das Ziel dieser Dissertation ist zu untersuchen, ob und wie sich Berufsinteresse-Traits als States im Alltag manifestieren. Kernstück dieser Arbeit bilden zwei präregistrierte Experience Sampling Studien. Sie werden mit einem Literaturüberblick zu Interesse-Traits und -States eingeleitet sowie der Identifizierung von zwei Forschungszielen: Die Untersuchung (1) der Natur alltäglicher Manifestationen von Interesse-Traits und (2) der Korrelate von Interesse-States. Beide Studien verfolgten diese zwei Forschungsziele. Zentrale Ergebnisse waren, dass (1) Personen systematisch in ihren Interesse-States im Alltag variieren; (2) ein spezifisches Variabilitätsmuster in Interesse-States die Natur von Interesse-States von derjenigen von Persönlichkeit-States zu unterscheiden scheint; (3) Interesse-States systematisch mit spezifischen situations- und personenbezogenen Variablen assoziiert sind. Die Dissertation schließt mit einer Zusammenfassung, wie die beiden Studien zu den identifizierten Forschungszielen beitragen und einer Diskussion der allgemeinen Stärken, Limitationen und Anregungen für künftige Forschung. Theoretische Implikationen werden vorgestellt und in das integrative Modell (Su, et al., 2019) eingebettet. Insgesamt beleuchtet die vorgestellte Forschung die Natur und Korrelate momentaner Manifestationen von Berufsinteressen im täglichen Leben und kann künftige Forschung dazu anregen, stärker eine State-Perspektive auf Interessen zu berücksichtigen.
... Consequently, researchers following these traditions have considered changes in P-E congruence almost exclusively from a perspective of occupational transitions, that is, as a consequence of occupational selection processes (cf. . Whereas research on personality development has provided considerable, yet far from undisputed, evidence for the existence of reciprocal effects between personality traits and environmental experiences Roberts et al., 2003), the possibility that systematic changes in vocational interests occur in reaction to experiences in work environments has hardly ever been tested systematically (exceptions are the work of Meir & Navon [1992] and a very recent study by Nye et al. [2020]). However, it seems reasonable to assume that socialization effects occur and are manifested in increases in P-E congruence over time, especially in tertiary education, where occupational socialization is often considered to be a central aspect of educational success (Lempert, 2006). ...
... However, this lack of evidence for socialization effects could be attributable to the fact that congruence was assessed in reference to participants' current jobs-thus confounding socialization and selection effects-or to the relatively large time span between measurement occasions. These studies have just recently been complemented by a longitudinal study on vocational interest changes in relation to changes in work environments (Nye et al., 2020). In their study, the authors found that RIASEC scale scores were relatively stable, but that changes in work environments were accompanied by corresponding changes in RIASEC scale scores. ...
... As stated above, there is a large imbalance between research on the roles of occupational selection (e.g., Hansen & Dik, 2005;Le et al., 2014;Nagy, 2006;Volodina, Nagy, & Retelsdorf, 2015) versus occupational socialization (e.g., Nye et al., 2020; in establishing congruence between individuals' interests and the demands and opportunities of their work and educational environments. In general, there are several possible ways in which individuals could increase P-E congruence. ...
Article
Full-text available
The current study is concerned with the stability of and changes in vocational interest profiles and interest congruence in vocational education and training (VET). Specifically, we examined (1) the stability of vocational interest profiles, (2) the existence of occupational socialization effects that manifest themselves as increases in person-environment (P-E) congruence, and (3) the question of whether or not changes in P-E congruence are psychologically relevant because they are related to trainees’ attitudes towards their VET course. We used data from a three-wave longitudinal sample comprising N = 2611 trainees from five different VET courses in Germany. Through the use of meta-analytical aggregation techniques, we were able to analyze interindividual differences in intraindividual interest stability and P-E congruence and to relate these differences to trainees’ satisfaction with VET. On average, interest profiles turned out to be highly stable over the entire course of VET. However, we found substantial interindividual and intergroup differences in interest stability. Average P-E congruence increased slightly in two groups, providing only little evidence for the presumed socialization effects. Nevertheless, interindividual differences in P-E congruence and changes in P-E congruence were psychologically relevant because they were linked to trainees’ satisfaction with their VET course and changes therein.
... In contrast, usually at age 12-13, the number of interest and self-efficacy estimation areas tend to reduce. Reportedly, the structure of children's interests does not reach the final shape until adolescence (Nye et al., 2020;Stoll et al., 2021;Tracey, 2002a). Findings indicate a direct relationship between more distinguished vocational interests and vocational development in children (Howard et al., 2015). ...
Article
Full-text available
Professional interests play an essential role in professional choices, educational and career counseling, and person-environment fit. The Multilingual Iconographic Professional Interests Inventory (MIPII) has been designed to help elementary school students explore their vocational interests, through self-reflection and increase the likelihood of pursuing satisfying future school and career choices. In this study, factor analyses, internal consistency, and convergent validity of the MIPII were examined on a sample of 756 Iranian elementary school students of the 4th to 6th grades. Exploratory Factor Analysis rendered Things, Leisure, and Culture for both versions of females and males. The 30 most items congruent with the six types of Holland were selected to test the Realistic, Investigative, Artistic, Social, Enterprising, and Conventional (RIASEC) model, confirmed in the personality types but not on its circumplexity. Concurrent validity of the MIPII items with the subscales of the Inventory of Children’s Activities (ICA-3) was confirmed. The consistency between the most significant correlation coefficients of MIPII occupations and the primary Holland code of Occupational Information Network (O*NET) classifications was investigated. This inventory proved to possess good psychometrics in assessing Iranian children’s professional interests.
... Vocational interests are trait-like characteristics of motivational and behavioral preferences towards specific environments and activities (Rounds & Su, 2014). Research on the stability of vocational interests suggests that vocational interests show some stability and changes over time (Hoff et al., 2020;Morris, 2016;Nye et al., 2020;Schultz et al., 2017), similarly to personality traits that show some malleability during lifetime. Holland (1959Holland ( , 1996 described six types of vocational personalities (RIASEC model) representing realistic, investigative, artistic, social, enterprising and conventional personalities and environments. ...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The present study was designed to distinguish non-cognitive predictors of job performance for various job groups in order to develop a method for identification of the suitability of an employee for positions and career development in organizational settings. This study included personality traits, vocational interests, grit, growth mindset, resistance to change, goal orientation and self-efficacy as potential predictors of job performance from several individual characteristics related to training, learning and job performance found in the literature. The study sample included customer service specialists, support specialists and managers from five different companies in Latvia. The results show that grit, social, conventional, and enterprising interests are significant predictors of subjective job performance. Personality traits, self-efficacy, growth mindset, resistance to change and goal orientation did not predict job performance in this sample. The relationship between subjective job performance and personality traits for conscientiousness and neuroticism is weak. The results are partly in line with other studies. Possible explanations of results and future directions are offered.
... 145-146). Interest profiles tend to remain relatively stable over time (Etzel & Nagy, 2021;Stoll et al., 2020) and are instrumental in guiding people toward their chosen occupations (Hanna et al., 2021;Nye et al., 2020). Working in environments that match with a person's interests is important because interest-environment fit is related to relevant academic and organisational behaviours/outcomes, including, but not limited to, persistence (Nye et al., 2012), performance (Nye et al., 2012;Wiernik, 2016), well-being (Meir & Melamed, 1986), and satisfaction (Nye et al., 2018). ...
Article
Full-text available
This study set out to investigate the psychometric properties of the African Career Interest Inventory (ACII) in Ghana. The ACII is an interest measure developed in South Africa that operationalises Holland’s model of vocational personality/interest types. We obtained 617 responses to the ACII from university students at a university in Ghana. Most of the items showed satisfactory fit to the Rasch model with only a few items showing poor fit. The ACII scale scores showed good reliability and the randomisation test of hypothesised order relations and covariance structure modelling supported circumplex structure of these scale scores. Implications for theory and practice are provided.
Article
Theory and research suggest that vocational interests should predict individual behavior at work, in school, and during leisure time. However, more research is needed to understand the underlying mechanisms for these relationships. In the present study, we suggest that satisfaction and motivation are direct outcomes of vocational interest fit and mediate the relationship between interest fit and behavior. We test this mediation model in a seven-week longitudinal study examining the prediction of academic performance in a sample of 372 college students. Results indicated that vocational interest fit had direct effects on performance, citizenship behavior, counterproductive behavior, and intent to leave even after controlling for cognitive ability and conscientiousness. Both motivation and satisfaction also mediated the relationships with several of these outcomes. Finally, results also showed that an objective measure of interest fit was a better predictor of performance while a perceived fit measure was a stronger predictor of satisfaction. These results suggest that vocational interest fit may be useful for identifying individuals who are likely to be successful in school and help to clarify several of the underlying mechanisms for this relationship.
Article
This study focused on the idea that there are predictable differences between those individuals who opt for Scientific rather than the Commerce/Practitioner jobs and consulting assignments. A total of 2278 adults from a variety of occupations completed three validated questionnaires: the first assessed the behavioural tendency of an individual when one is exposed to stress and which could derail one’s business career (HDS: Hogan Development Survey); the second the values and preferences that indicate work motivation (MVPI: The Motives, Values and Preferences Inventory), and the third, seven bright-side personality factors (HPI: Hogan Personality Inventory). The MVPI measured interests in scientific and commercial/enterprising activities. Correlations, regressions and SEM indicated both similarities and differences in the relationship between personality traits and values. Bright-side personality traits accounted for more the variance for those interested in Science while dark-side traits accounted for more variance for those interested in the Commerce. The biggest difference occurred in Inquisitiveness (Curiosity, Openness to Experience) which was much higher for those interested in science. Implications for personnel selection, job-fit and promotion were discussed.
Article
Full-text available
Theories of person-environment (P-E) fit describe a dynamic process in which fit should improve over time due to changes in a person’s attributes, the environment, or both. Although these ideas are central in several theoretical perspectives, they have largely gone untested. Here, we report a longitudinal examination of interest congruence (i.e., interest fit) across 12 years during the transition from education to the workforce. The study uses four methods to capture interest congruence and the drivers of fit change: growth models, latent congruence models, person and environment latent difference scores, and piecewise growth models based on environmental transitions. Each method uses a different lens to understand interest congruence in educational and work domains. Across methods, three results were typically found: (1) interest congruence improved over time in school and at work, (2) participants’ interests often predicted educational and work changes, and (3) participants’ interests rarely changed in response to their environment. These results support a dynamic conceptualization of fit and suggest that selection—rather than socialization—is the main mechanism through which individuals achieve better interest fit during young adulthood. Other implications are discussed for theory development and the applied use of interest assessments.
Article
Full-text available
The purpose of this study was to examine the psychometric properties of the goal orientation (GO) scale across job search contexts to facilitate its use in large and varied search settings. A sample of 720 job losers and new entrants’ job seekers in Ghana completed the survey. Confirmatory factor analysis supported the three-factor theoretical structure (Learning goal, Performance-prove goal, and Performance-avoid goal orientations) for both new entrants’ and job losers’ samples. Results of the invariance test reached measurement equivalence across job search contexts and genders. Furthermore, GO dimensions correlated differently with some cognitive self-regulation criterion variables (employment commitment, self-control, learning from failure, and strategy awareness) thus, providing evidence of convergent and discriminant validity. Overall, the study provides additional support for the job search GO measure for use across different job search contexts.
Article
Full-text available
Prior research demonstrated that narcissism fosters the attainment of higher managerial ranks in organizations. However, it is not known whether climbing the corporate ladder also fosters the development of narcissism over time. Whereas prior work consistently adopted a unidirectional perspective on narcissism and career attainment, this study presents and tests a bidirectional perspective, incorporating long-term development in narcissism in relation to and in response to long-term upward mobility. To this end, a cohort of highly educated professionals was assessed three times over a 22-year time frame. Extended latent difference score modeling showed that, over the entire interval, within-person changes in narcissism were positively related to within-person changes in upward mobility. This was in line with our first hypothesis which described a positive co-development between both processes over time. However, when reciprocity was analyzed in a time-sequential manner, i.e. from the first career stage to the second, we found more support for narcissism predicting later upward mobility (Hypothesis 2) than for the reverse effect from mobility to later change in narcissism (Hypothesis 3). Moreover, this effect from upward mobility to subsequent change in narcissism was negative, indicating that higher career attainment during the first career stage inhibited (rather than fostered) subsequent growth in narcissism. In sum, these results indicate that narcissism continues to demonstrate room for development over the course of people's careers. However, future research is needed to further clarify the exact nature of the effects that career experiences such as upward mobility have on this developmental process.
Article
Full-text available
The current review presents a theoretical integration of interest research across the fields of vocational, organizational, and educational psychology and provides empirical evidence that supports this integration. Guided by the framework of Trait-State Interest Dynamics (TSID; Su, Stoll, & Rounds, 2018), I discuss three research themes that cut across and link the currently segregated disciplines: (1) the motivational functions of interests (direction, vigor, persistence), (2) the behavioral outcomes of interests (selection into academic and work environments, performance in academic and work settings, educational and career success), and (3) the affective and cognitive experience of interest and interventions for increasing interest. The review leverages advancement in interest research over the last two decades (1999-2018) since the publication of Savickas and Spokane’s (1999) edited book Vocational Interests: Meaning, Measurement, and Counseling Use, with a particular focus on new meta-analytic findings across the fields. I discuss updated evidence that counters previous beliefs about interests, areas where current research is lacking or needs further synthesis, and future directions for the development of interest theory, assessment, and application. In closing, I highlight the need to understand interest and interest fit as dynamic phenomena in individuals’ work life.
Article
Full-text available
Abstract Personality traits and vocational interests capture different aspects of human individuality that intersect in certain ways. In this longitudinal study, we examined developmental relations between the Big Five traits and RIASEC interests over four time points from late adolescence to young adulthood (age 16 - 24) in a sample of Icelandic youth (N = 485) well-representative of the total student population. Results showed that interests and personality traits were similarly stable over time, but showed different patterns of mean-level change. There was evidence of personality maturation but a lack of cumulative changes in interest levels. For the most part, gender differences in developmental trends were minimal. In addition, latent growth curve analyses revealed broad and specific correlated changes between personality and interests. Changes in general factors of personality and interests were moderately related (r = .32), but stronger correlated changes were found among specific personality-interest pairs that share situational content. Overall, results reveal how interests and personality are related across different types of continuity and change. While there was little correspondence between group- level changes, substantial correlated change occurred at the individual-level. This means that when a person’s personality changes, their interests tend to change in predictable ways (and vice versa). Integrative theories that link different aspects of psychological functioning can benefit by incorporating these findings.
Article
Full-text available
Theory and research on person-environment fit suggest that people in the same environment should share homogeneous patterns of individual characteristics. The concept of homogeneity is central to the notion that individuals can be matched to occupations or academic fields of study and will be satisfied with and successful in environments in which they fit. This idea has been particularly influential in research on vocational interests where interest scores are used for career planning and employee selection. Nevertheless, if interests are to be useful for these purposes, it is important to verify the degree to which employees in occupations have homogeneous interest profiles. The current study addresses this question by looking at homogeneity from two different perspectives: examination of the Strong Interest Inventory manual data and a quantitative review of congruence indices. Taken together, these findings contradict the foundational assumption of interest homogeneity by demonstrating considerable heterogeneity of interests in a range of occupations. These results suggest that a continuum of homogeneity exists and prompt a further look into the homogeneity assumption of interests within occupations.
Article
Full-text available
Recently, an effect size measure, known as dMACS, was developed for confirmatory factor analytic (CFA) studies of measurement equivalence. Although this index has several advantages over traditional methods of identifying nonequivalence, the scale and interpretation of this effect size are still unclear. As a result, the interpretation of the effect size is left to the subjective judgment of the researcher. To remedy this issue for other effect sizes, some have proposed guidelines for evaluating the magnitude of an effect based on the distribution of effect sizes in the literature. The goal of the current research was to develop similar guidelines for effect sizes of measurement nonequivalence and build on this work by also examining the practical importance of nonequivalence. Based on a review of past research, we conducted two simulation studies to generate distributions of effects sizes. Assuming the ideal scenario of invariant referent items, the results of these simulations were then used to develop empirical guidelines for interpreting nonequivalence and its effects on observed outcomes.
Article
Full-text available
Vocational interests predict a variety of important outcomes, and are among the most widely applied individual difference constructs in psychology and education. Despite over 90 years of research, little is known about the longitudinal development of interests. In this meta-analysis, we investigate normative changes in interests through adolescence and young adulthood. Effect sizes were aggregated from 49 longitudinal studies reporting mean-level changes in vocational interests, containing 98 total samples and 20,639 participants. Random effects meta-analytic regression models were used to assess age-related changes and gender differences across Holland’s (1959, 1997) RIASEC categories and composite dimensions (People, Things, Data, and Ideas). Results showed that mean-level interest scores generally increase with age, but effect sizes varied across interest categories and developmental periods. Adolescence was defined by two broad patterns of change: interest scores generally decreased during early adolescence, but then increased during late adolescence. During young adulthood, the most striking changes were found across the People and Things orientations. Interests involving People tended to increase (Artistic, Social, and Enterprising), whereas interests involving Things either decreased (Conventional) or remained constant (Realistic and Investigative). Gender differences associated with occupational stereotypes reached a lifetime peak during early adolescence, then tended to decrease in all subsequent age periods. Overall findings suggest there are normative changes in vocational interests from adolescence to adulthood, with important implications for developmental theories and the applied use of interests.
Article
This longitudinal study provides an analysis of the relationship between personality traits and work experiences with a special focus on the relationship between changes in personality and work experiences in young adulthood. Longitudinal analyses uncovered 3 findings. First, measures of personality taken at age 18 predicted both objective and subjective work experiences at age 26. Second, work experiences were related to changes in personality traits from age 18 to 26. Third, the predictive and change relations between personality traits and work experiences were corresponsive: Traits that "selected" people into specific work experiences were the same traits that changed in response to those same work experiences. The relevance of the findings to theories of personality development is discussed.
Article
The concept of congruence, or the match between an individual and his or her environment, plays a major role in Holland's (1959, 1997) theory of vocational interests. Despite this emphasis, empirical research on the validity of congruence indices for predicting some outcomes has been somewhat disappointing (e.g. Assouline & Meir, 1987; Tinsley, 2000). Although recent research has found that congruence indices can provide meaningful improvements in validity (Nye, Su, Rounds, & Drasgow, 2017), it is widely recognized that these indices have a number of conceptual and methodological flaws (Camp & Chartrand, 1992; Edwards, 1993). To help address this issue, the present work demonstrates the potential benefits of operationalizing interest congruence using polynomial regression (Edwards, 1994) and discusses how such a method can yield more nuanced details about the importance of vocational interests for predicting work and academic outcomes.