Discriminant Analysis in Career Studying "Decision/Indecision": The Career Factors Inventory (CFI) as a Diagnostic Measure

Article excerpt

Literature has shown that, nowadays, a multidimensional approach to decision-making has become prioritized. The Careers Factor Inventory (CFI) is, in fact, a multidimensional measurement instrument for evaluating career indecision, which may be useful in the diagnosis of adaptation behaviors in terms of career decision versus indecision. This study emerges as a follow-up to a previous study which used the CFI on a sample of university students in which this measurement instrument was found to be capable of distinguishing Low decided vs. Highly decided groups and to evaluate the discriminatory capacity of the CFI scales. It is the aim, here, to further analyse the results obtained in such study with a view to grounding the importance of the use of this Inventory as an instrument for distinguishing people who present different decision levels in relation to their careers. In this study, 494 university students from a number of higher education establishments and courses are part of the afore mentioned Low decided and Highly decided groups. The collected data were analysed by means of Discrete Discriminant Analysis models and corroborate the discriminant power of the Inventory and its use as a diagnostic instrument in the psychological intervention of career counseling and development.

Keywords: discriminant analysis, decision, personal development, diagnosis, career guidance.

La literatura muestra que, en estos días, una aproximación multidimensional de la toma de decisiones se ha vuelto prioritaria. El Inventario de Factor de Carreras (Careers Factor Inventory; CFI) es, de hecho, un instrumento de medida multidimensional para evaluar la indecisión en la elección de carrera, lo que puede ser útil para el diagnóstico de conductas adaptativas en términos de decisión versus indecisión en la elección de carrera. Este estudio emerge como continuación de un estudio previo que utilizó el CFI en una muestra de estudiantes universitarios en la que éste instrumento de medida ha sido capaz de distinguir entre grupos de Baja decisión vs. Alta decisión, y para evaluar la capacidad discriminatoria de las medidas CFI. El objetivo aquí es continuar analizando los resultados obtenidos en ese estudio con vistas a determinar la importancia del uso de este Inventario como instrumento para distinguir a las personas que presenten diferentes niveles de decisión en relación a sus carreras. En este estudio, 494 estudiantes de diversos cursos de instituciones de educación superior son parte de los grupos ya mencionados Baja-decisión y Alta-decisión. Los datos recogidos fueron analizados mediante el modelo de Análisis Discriminante Discreto y corroboran el poder discriminante del Inventario y su uso como instrumento diagnóstico en la intervención y psicológico de la elección de carrera y la orientación vocacional.

Palabras clave: análisis discriminante, decisión, desarrollo personal, diagnóstico, orientación vocacional.

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Although a number of authors have generally tended to place more emphasis on the cognitive rather than affective dimension, it seems to be consensual that both aspects take on an important role in career indecision experience. Indeed, literature has revealed that the issue of indecision is multifaceted and complex.

Although this theme may be addressed within a number of scientific fields, the study of indecision has become widely known among researchers and professionals interested in acquiring a more comprehensive vision of vocational behavior and of diversifying intervention modalities within this context (Osipow, 1999; Silva, 2004).

Having originally focused on the issue of decisionmaking among students, particularly towards the end of adolescence and early adulthood, the question of career indecision currently covers other phases of one's active life cycle, as career re-planning in contemporary societies seems to be necessary among such increasing diversity in life changes, thus, giving rise to moments of indecision (Osipow, 1999). …