Vocational interests, values, and preferences

  • Dawis R
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Interests, values, and preferences are constructs used to operationalize [`]motivation' in the classic formula: PERFORMANCE=ability × motivation. Preferences, the basic concept, involve cognition (content) and affect (like/dislike for interests, important/unimportant for values). These constructs are measured primarily by self-report questionnaires Factorial structures of interests have converged on the Holland hexagon of six types A parallel (but different) six-factor structure is proposed for values. Measurements of interests and values are best interpreted in relation to measurements of corresponding environmental conditions, the correspondence between person and environment being the primary explanation for predictions of (a) occupational membership, tenure, and satisfaction; (b) job satisfactoriness and satisfaction; and (c) career development and satisfaction. Interests and values correlate poorly with abilities and personality traits, thus meriting study in their own right. There are interesting differences in interests and values among different demographic segments of the general population. The origins and development of interests, values, and preferences is poorly understood, but it is known that they have a significant heritability component.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Interest
  • Psychology
  • Values

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  • René V Dawis

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