Personality Measurement

By Leonard W. Ferguson | Go to book overview

2
INTERESTS: AN EMPIRICAL APPROACH

In this and in the following chapter, we shall be concerned with techniques for the measurement of interests. In this chapter we propose to discuss an empirical approach to the problem, and in the next chapter, a rational approach. The latter approach was used by Dr. G. Frederic Kuder in the development of his Preference Records; while the empirical approach, the subject of our present chapter, was used by Dr. Edward K. Strong, Jr., in the development of his Vocational Interest Tests.

The chief purpose of the Strong Vocational Interest Tests is to show a person the extent to which his interests correspond to those of successful men or women in a variety of occupations. In addition, they can show the extent to which a person's interests correspond to those characteristic of men in contrast with those characteristic of women (masculinity-femininity). The men's blank can also show the extent to which a person's interests correspond to those of 25- year-old men in contrast with those of 15-year-old boys (interest maturity), and the extent to which they correspond to those of professional and businessmen in contrast with those of unskilled workmen (occupational level).

Each of the two tests consists of a total of 400 items. In terms of their content, those in the blank for men can be classified as in Table 5. In most of these parts the subject is asked to draw a circle around one of three letters: L, I, or D, to indicate whether he likes, is indifferent to, or dislikes the occupation, school subject, amusement, activity, or kind of person in question. In Part VI, however, in indicating preference among activities, the subject is asked (in each of 4 groups of 10 activities) to check the 3 he likes best, the 3 he likes least, and to check the 4 remaining as neutral. In Part VII, the section requiring a comparison between activity items, e.g., between

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