Self-monitoring processes and Holland's theory of vocational choice

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Lev, Julian, 1950-
White, Michael J.
Issue Date
Thesis (Ph. D.)
Department of Counseling Psychology and Guidance Services
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The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between self-monitoring and the constructs of the Holland vocational theory. Two hundred thirty nine subjects from two schools in the Pacific Northwest, a small university and a vocational school, completed the Vocational Preference Inventory (VPI; Holland, 1985a), My Vocational Situation (Holland, Daiger, Power, 1980a), the revised Self-Monitoring Scale (SMS; Snyder & Gangestad, 1986) and a demographic questionnaire that included the Occupational Alternatives Question.A regression analysis tested hypotheses about the relationship between the Enterprising and Social subscales of the VPI and self-monitoring for both sexes. A 2x2 MANOVA investigated sex by self-monitoring differences on three measures of congruent vocational decision-making. Three 2x2 ANOVAs on sex by self-monitoring investigated differences on measures of consistency and definition of vocational personality and stability of choice. Factor analyses were performed for two self-monitoring groups to test the extent to which the groups' responses to the VPI conform to Holland's theory.Results for men indicated that high self-monitors tended to prefer Enterprising occupations and low self-monitors preferred Realistic occupations. No significant relationships were found for women between the VPI and SMS. Low self-monitors scored significantly higher on one measure of congruence, between college major and first vocational choice. High self-monitors scored significantly higher on consistency and their responses to the VPI conformed more with the Holland theory. There were no other significant differences found between groups. No sex differences were found in these analyses.These results suggest that high self-monitors have more information about vocational roles and that they use this information to make vocational decisions. A further suggestion is that low self-monitors make decisions on the basis of their attitudes and tend to act more consistently on those decisions. It is argued that the two groups have different decision-making processes with highs seeking information about a job's task demands and lows considering internal responses in order to make vocational decisions.