Instrumental Behaviors Following Test Administration and Interpretation: Exploration Validity of the Strong Interest Inventory

 

I.                    Expectations of the study 

A.     The null hypothesis was that no difference in career exploration would exist between the groups.

B.     The alternative hypothesis expects that the Strong Interest Inventory experimental group participants would exhibit significantly greater career exploration behavior than would the contrast group.

II.                 Studies relation to previous work

A.     Previous research has indicated that vocational testing and career intervention has been characterized as effective.

B.     Oliver and Spokane (1988): classroom intervention most effective technique

C.     Brief interventions and follow-up within 6 weeks or less resulted in satisfaction with interest inventory across various studies.

D.     Oliver and Spokane (1988) and Tittle (1978): validity of interest inventories has become an important index of their effectiveness

E.      Borgen and Bernard (1982): 1981 Strong Interest Inventory lacked exploration validity

F.      Stanley and Lewis (1986): 6 month study indicated that SII and Vocational Card Sort (VCS) were effective

III.               Purpose of this study if to assess the validity of the 1985 Strong Interest Inventory (SII)

A.     Using instrumental behaviors

i.        The number of activities related to career exploration in which participants engaged within 1 year after the administration and interpretation of SII

ii.       Specifically career exploration behaviors exhibited within and outside the academic environment

B.     14 yes-no items

i.        7 items concerning campus career exploration services

ii.       7 items concerning career exploration that may occur on or off campus

IV.              Five Factors used to measure behaviors by calculating effect size

A.     Discussion/ reading

i. Effect size 0.80

B.     Experiential information seeking

i. Effect size -.18

C.     Career counseling

i. Effect size .00

D.     Vocational testing

i. Effect size -.35

E.      Individual information seeking

i.        Effect size 1.35

V.                 General findings of SII experimental group

A.     Both males and females who received a SII profile interpretation and feedback about their vocational interests, engaged in more instrumental information seeking behaviors than did the contrast group.

 

Lily Soltero

Julia Baird

Ana Arias

Alheli Miranda

Article Summary

Randahl, G., Hansen, J., Haverkamp, B. (1993). Instrumental Behaviors Following Test Administration and Interpretation: Exploration Validity of the Strong Interest Inventory. Journal of Counseling and Development, 27, 435 – 43

The study consisted of a null hypothesis and alternative hypothesis. The null hypothesis expected no difference in career exploration between the groups. The alternative hypothesis expected that the Strong Interest Inventory experimental group participants would have a significantly greater behavior for career exploration as opposed to the contrast group.

Previous research in “vocational testing and career intervention had been characterized by an interest in the effectiveness of the tools and techniques used by vocational counselors”( Randahl, et al). Most studies only used brief studies to study the effects of vocational testing and career intervention. Oliver and Spokane (1988) found that classroom interventions were the most effective techniques but required the most intervention hours. Classroom intervention required many hours and weeks and most studies focused on short intervals. The time interval, for example, between a brief intervention and follow-up was 6 weeks or less. Researchers have found that brief interventions resulted in positive outcomes on attitude toward and satisfaction with interest inventory and career intervention as measured relatively soon after the intervention (Randahl, et al). The problem was that the career exploration and development process of an individual was expected to continue for a period longer than the short interval. Oliver and Spokane (1988) noted that the evaluation of exploration validity of interest inventories or career interventions gradually had become an important index of the effectiveness of vocational test.

Borgen and Bernard (1982), in their review of the 1981 Strong Interest Inventory, cited the lack of exploration validity for the SII as one of its shortcomings. As a result, Slaney and Lewis (1986) conducted both short and long term, follow-ups to examine the effects of either a 1981 SII or a VCS treatment program on 34 career-undecided female reentry undergraduates. Results indicated that both the SII and Vocational Card Sort (VCS) were effective in facilitating career exploration. This was the only career exploration validity study done for the 1981 SII. There is not study for the current version of the SII; therefore, this study was designed to address exploration validity for the 1985 SII.

A two-phase longitudinal study was designed that operationally defined the construct of exploration validity by measuring modestly long-term effects of the SII. Participants included both an experimental group and a contrast group. The participants were required to participate in the project during the 10 weeks. The sample was limited to 100 students per project per quarter. The SII group was recruited at the time of the testing and followed-up 1-year later. The contrast group was recruited at the time of the 1-year follow-up. A total of 157 students (women = 94, men = 63) participated in the initial SII testing and interpretation. The efforts to contact the participants, one year later, by telephone resulted in 94 students (women = 53, men = 41). This was about 60% of the original group. All SII and contrast participants were surveyed by telephone by three graduate research assistants who conducted the interviews based on a standardized script. The research assistants were trained before hand.

The instrumental behaviors criterion data consisted of self-reported career exploration behaviors engage in during the preceding year. There were 14 yes-no items concerning academic and non-academic career exploration behaviors. The items specifically focused on career exploration behaviors exhibited within and outside the academic environment. The standardized item alpha for the 14 items was .58, suggesting that the instrument was multidimensional (Randahl, et al). A factor analysis of all participants was run for the 14 items. This extracted five main factors. The factors represent discussion/reading activities, experiential information seeking, career counseling, vocational testing, and individual information seeking.

 

There were no statistically significant F values found, so analyses of variance of factor scales between combined sex groups were performed (Randahl, et al). There were statistically significant differences between the experimental and contrast groups on the factor scales of discussion/reading, vocational testing, and individual information seeking. The effect size of the discussion/ reading factor was .80. Vocational testing had an effect size of -.35. Individual information seeking had an effect size of 1.35.

 

Both males and females who received a SII profile interpretation and feedback about their vocational interests, engaged in more instrumental information seeking behaviors than did the contrast group.