WORK-ROLE SALIENCE, COGNITIVE COMPLEXITY, AND TRADITIONALITY OF OCCUPATIONAL PREFERENCE AS MODERATORS OF HOLLAND'S THEORY OF VOCATIONAL CHOICE (CAREER, WOMEN, CONGRUENCE)

DENNIS B STEIGERWALT, Fordham University

Abstract

Congruence, a major construct of Holland's theory of vocational choice, defines the extent to which expressed vocational interest patterns correspond to actual occupational choices. Although a large body of research has supported Holland's assertion that individuals are motivated to attain high levels of congruence, several recent studies have indicated that low levels of congruence may exist for selected groups of women and for individuals with less than a four-year college degree.^ Supporting the notion that congruence alone does not adequately explain vocational choice, the present study examined the extent to which work-role salience and cognitive complexity relate to and may influence congruence and vocational choice. A major hypothesis was that high levels of congruence could be predicted from an interaction of high levels of salience, or the extent to which one's job is central to one's identity, and high levels of complexity, a measure of the number of dimensions utilized in processing information.^ A limitation of several past studies is that they utilized a splintered approach, examining only one to three of Holland's personality types. The present study utilized a comprehensive design, examining all six types concurrently. Past research has also ignored possible influences of the level of traditionality and educational level on vocational choice; both are included in the present study.^ Congruence scores for the 275 participating college men and women were derived from the Vocational Preference Inventory, and based on an index of agreement scale. The Work Role Salience Scale and Career Orientation Inventory were used to measure work-role salience and the Cognitive Differentiation Grid was utilized to assess the cognitive complexity of individuals in the vocational realm.^ Following are the major findings: (a) in the regression analysis, work salience and complexity did not predict levels of congruence, as hypothesized; (b) a statistically significant, but weak, correlation was found between work salience and congruence for the women; (c) Holland's congruence postulate was supported equally for women and men; (d) work-role salience scores of men and women were similar; and (e) for all women, work-role salience attitudes scores correlated positively at significant levels with career orientation (expected job involvement). ^

Subject Area

School counseling

Recommended Citation

STEIGERWALT, DENNIS B, "WORK-ROLE SALIENCE, COGNITIVE COMPLEXITY, AND TRADITIONALITY OF OCCUPATIONAL PREFERENCE AS MODERATORS OF HOLLAND'S THEORY OF VOCATIONAL CHOICE (CAREER, WOMEN, CONGRUENCE)" (1985). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI8600107.
https://fordham.bepress.com/dissertations/AAI8600107

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