Academic journal article College Student Journal

Relationship between the Self-Directed Search and the Edwards Personal Preference Schedule Using the N of 1 Research Design

Academic journal article College Student Journal

Relationship between the Self-Directed Search and the Edwards Personal Preference Schedule Using the N of 1 Research Design

Article excerpt

This exploratory study used an N of 1 research design to determine the degree of correspondence between the Self-Directed Search (SDS) and the Edwards Personal Preference Schedule (EPPS). Implications based on the results for vocational counselors are delineated.

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It is clear that although the use of inventories and tests in counseling has waned decidedly since the days of Parsons and the trait/factor approach, tests are still used routinely in career counseling. Most career development textbooks, for example, contain more than one chapter on various types of tests/inventories used for career counseling purposes. One of the more widely used inventories is the Self-Directed Search (SDS; Holland, 1994). Another inventory, used perhaps less frequently for career counseling, is the Edwards Personal Preference Schedule (EPPS; Edwards, 1959).

Thus, the purpose of the present study is to discover if corresponding dimensions exist between the personality traits measured by the SDS [which is based on vocational theory] and the personality traits measured by the EPPS [which is based on need theory]. Descriptive statistics using the N of 1 research design will be employed to identify the similar dimensions of vocational preferences and personality structure. A rationale for the use of the N of 1 approach as well as relevant research on the relationship between Holland's personality theory and EPPS will be presented.

The N of 1 Approach

N of 1 research refers to the detailed examination of a single entity (e.g., person, client, a counseling dyad, a group; Miller, 1985). According to C.E. Hill, Carter, and O'Farrell (1983), N of 1 research has distinct advantages over more traditional experimental studies because it allows for a more adequate description of what is happening. Sue (1978) added that N of 1 research allows researchers to study a somewhat rare phenomenon.

An early request for N of 1 research in the field of career intervention (Osipow, 1982) was followed by the publication of several narrative cases in The Career Development Quarterly (A.L. Hill & Spokane, 1995) and a few studies in related periodicals (Dorn, 1988; Kirschner, Hoffman, & Hill, 1994; Spokane et al., 1993). The reader who is unfamiliar with the virtues, importance, and thinking that are the foundation of N of 1 research is encouraged to read the above cited articles as well as the following: Frey, 1978; Goldman, 1977; Remer, 1981; Tracey, 1983.

Some Research on the Relationship Between Holland's Typology and the Edwards Personal Preference Schedule

The question concerning the relationship between personality traits and vocational interests has been the focus of research for decades. For example Bailey (1971) investigated the relationship between the Strong Vocational Interest Blank (SVIB; Campbell, et al, 1968), an interest inventory organized around Holland's theory, and the Edwards Personal Preference Schedule (EPPS; Edwards, 1959). The author initially asked subject-matter experts to make judgments indicating which scales from the EPPS most nearly matched Holland's descriptions. The results of the judgments are presented.

Holland Type          EPPS Scales

Realistic         Order, Endurance
Investigative     Achievement, Autonomy
Artistic          Intraception, Abasement
Social            Affiliation, Nurturance
Enterprising      Achievement, Exhibition,
                  Dominance
Conventional      Deference, Order,
                  Endurance

The author concluded that although the resemblance offered by qualified judges and those presented by Holland appear to be somewhat limited, the overall canonical analysis of the two sets of variables for the entire sample reinforced the idea that the two psychological domains of personality and vocational interests are related (Bailey, 1971).

Kristjanson (1969) also examined the link between SVIB and EPPS scales. …

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