Abilities, Interests, and Values: Their Assessment and Their Integration via the World-of-Work Map

Dale J. Prediger ACT, Inc.
This article describes assessments of work-relevant abilities, interests, and values and how the World-of-Work Map (WWM) can be used to link them to (a) each other, (b) Holland’s hexagon, (c) basic work tasks, (d) occupational groups, and (e) occupations. The assessments and their linkage procedures, which are implemented in the Career Planning Survey and DISCOVER (a computer-based service), are intended for use with persons in the early stages of career planning or replanning. A case study illustrates how results of the assessments are integrated and linked to career options. Then, the theory, practical considerations, and research supporting the career counseling use of self-estimates of work-relevant abilities are discussed. Next, the three assessment instruments are described, and the research contributing to the WWM’s 2000 update is summarized. Finally, an aid is provided for using the WWM with any assessments of Holland’s types (e.g., those discussed in this journal issue). Keywords: Career assessment, abilities, interests, work values, ability selfestimates

It is generally recognized that work-relevant abilities, interests, and values are primary considerations when helping persons with career exploration and planning. Yet, assessments of all three of these characteristics are seldom provided by a single, integrated assessment program (e.g., see Kapes, Mastie, & Whitfield, 1994). The purpose of this article is to describe assessments of a wide range of work-relevant abilities, interests, and values and how they can be linked to (a) each other, (b) Holland’s (1997) hexagon, (c) basic work tasks (Prediger, 1982), (d) groups of similar occupations, and (e) specific occupations. ACT, Inc. (ACT) uses the three types of assessments in DISCOVER (ACT, 1999), a computerbased career planning system serving 8th graders through adults. The Career
AUTHOR’S NOTE: The author thanks Rick Noeth, Nancy Petersen, and Kyle Swaney for their review of drafts of this article. Correspondence concerning this article and requests for reprints should be addressed to Dr. Dale Prediger, Senior Research Scientist, ACT Research Division, P.O. Box 168, Iowa City, IA, 52243; email: prediger@act.org. JOURNAL OF CAREER ASSESSMENT, Vol. 10 No. 2, May 2002 © 2002 Sage Publications 209–232




Planning Survey (CPS) (ACT, 2000), a paper-based system serving 8th through 10th graders, includes the same the ability and interest assessments as DISCOVER. Work values are addressed informally. As summarized by ACT (1999), DISCOVER uses the Inventory of WorkRelevant Abilities (IWRA) to assess abilities, the Unisex Edition of the ACT Interest Inventory (UNIACT) to assess interests, and the Inventory of Work Preferences (IWP) to assess work values. IWRA and UNIACT provide scores for Holland’s (1997) six types of vocational personalities and work environments. Although IWP research did not support providing scores for Holland’s types, results from all three assessments can be linked to each other and to occupational options via the empirically based World-of-Work Map (WWM)—an extension of Holland’s hexagon (e.g., see Prediger, Swaney, & Mau, 1993). Accordingly, the hexagon forms the core of the map (see Figure 1), and the RIASEC abbreviations of Holland’s types (Holland, 1997) appear on the periphery with related career cluster titles. Together with the WWM and information about 555 occupations organized by the map’s six career clusters and 26 career areas, the three assessments (two in the CPS) are intended for use with persons in the early stages of career planning or replanning. The goal of both DISCOVER and the CPS is a comprehensive, work-world search for occupations that have counselee-compatible characteristics. Of course, the work-relevant ability, interest, and value assessments can also be used in individual counseling involving special concerns. Later in this article, the bases for the assessments and the WWM are discussed. But first, to provide an overview of what they do (the big picture), their application is illustrated by a synopsis of a composite case study originally reported in this journal by Prediger and Swaney (1995). (Prediger, 1999b, reported an extension of the case study.) Because the assessments are components of both computerbased and paper-based services, there are no standard interpretative procedures or materials. Hence, the case study illustrates the general procedures followed in both services—procedures that can be used with other assessments reporting scores for Holland’s types (e.g., those discussed in this journal issue). To provide a fresh perspective on the case study, the 2000 update of the WWM is used instead of the previous edition. Introduced in 1973, the WWM is now part of five ACT programs serving approximately 5 million persons each year.

Jessica Vundering (she introduces herself as “Jess”) grew up on a midwestern farm, helped with farm chores and record keeping, and after graduating from high school, worked as a clerk in a large insurance company. She decided that was not for her and is now a 22-year-old, first-year college student. Her tentative choice of major (people keep asking) is elementary education. Because “Exploring Teaching: A Field Experience,” the course she took during her first

All rights reserved. AND VALUES 211 Figure 1. Case study results are represented by circled initials. V = work values. semester.Prediger / ABILITIES. Note. I = interests. she went to the college’s counseling center to explore other possibilities. Adapted with permission. Source. INTERESTS. Copyright 2000 by ACT. A = abilities. Her counselor introduced her to . C = current occupatonal choice. gave Jess second thoughts about that major. World-of-Work Map. Inc.

which is in Map Region 12. she thought that UNIACT’s Regions 9 and 10 might be telling her something. Should they be needed as Jess proceeds with self/career exploration. So Jess marked a “V” (for values) by its name on her copy of the map. Jess was able to obtain a list of occupations requiring at least 2 years of education/training beyond high school. ideas. The four career areas containing occupations that best fit what Jess valued in a job were reported to Jess in rank order. 1995. the counselor can show Jess how WWM regions are obtained for any report of Holland-type scores. Certainly. DISCOVER compared the work values she had indicated with the characteristics of each of the 555 occupations in DISCOVER’s comprehensive database.) Finally. Jess then used the career cluster and career area list to obtain an overview of the career areas and occupations in her IWRA and UNIACT map regions. illustrated the graphic mapping procedure. Career Area Q (medical technologies). provided counseling suggestions for when map regions do not agree across assessments. and Prediger & Swaney. P. and people) that provide its foundation. As explained by Prediger and Swaney . Next. She printed out DISCOVER’s descriptions of several occupations (including related training programs and college majors) and made an appointment with her counselor to discuss how she might further explore and prioritize the occupational options she had identified. She decided to find out more about Career Areas O. Jess’s counselor also introduced her to DISCOVER and to IWRA. Jess’s IWRA and UNIACT results converged on WWM regions involving things and ideas work tasks. 1993. Hence. it was clear that her tentative choice of major was not in line with her strongest abilities and interests. and IWP. (Prediger et al. she had much experience working with things while growing up on the farm. as summarized by their map regions. Jess decided to complete all three assessments on DISCOVER. After Jess completed IWP. and Q. how occupations differ with respect to them. Jess’s counselor has access to her IWRA and UNIACT score profiles for Holland’s types. Jess used the career cluster and career area list (Figure 2) to obtain a sense of what each career area was like. things. Through a look-up table (Table 1) and/or the graphic procedure developed by Miller (1985). the career area that ranked the highest. She also recalled that she was one of the few girls in her high school class who liked general science and who took both biology and chemistry..212 JOURNAL OF CAREER ASSESSMENT / May 2002 the WWM and to the basic types of work tasks (working with data. UNIACT. via the 26 career areas on the map. Jess’s counselor pointed out that her tentative choice of major was located in the education career area. Also. “I” for interests). She asked Jess to mark a “C” (for choice) in that map region (see Figure 1) and explained that occupations on that side of the map primarily involve working with people. Because DISCOVER organizes 555 occupations by educational level within career area. She gave Jess examples of the work tasks and noted that the WWM summarizes. As shown by the initials in Figure 1 (“A” for abilities. seemed especially appealing. the counselor understands that there is much more to the work world than can be illustrated on a flat piece of paper—a map.

special attention is given to the seldom- . Source. Career clusters and career areas (A-Z) appearing on the World-of-Work Map (Figure 1). INTERESTS. Examples of occupations are taken from DISCOVER. Copyright 2001 by ACT. AND VALUES 213 Figure 2. Adapted with permission. Note. OVERVIEW OF WHAT FOLLOWS The remainder of this article describes the assessments introduced in the case study and the bases for their integration via the WWM. the WWM attempts to strike a useful balance between work-world complexity and simplicity of use. After a discussion of the wide range of work-relevant abilities.Prediger / ABILITIES. All rights reserved. (1995). Inc.

From ACT (2000.214 Table 1 World-of-Work Map Regions Corresponding to Three-Letter Codes Type A Code ASE ASC ASR ASI AEC AER AEI AES ACR ACI ACS ACE ARI ARS ARE ARC AIS AIE AIC AIR 12 11 11 11 12 11 11 12 10 10 11 11 9 10 10 9 10 10 10 9 SEC SER SEI SEA SCR SCI SCA SCE SRI SRA SRE SRC SIA SIE SIC SIR SAE SAC SAR SAI 2 1 1 1 2 1 1 2 12 12 1 1 11 12 12 11 12 12 12 11 ECR ECI ECA ECS ERI ERA ERS ERC EIA EIS EIC EIR EAS EAC EAR EAI ESC ESR ESI ESA 4 3 3 3 4 3 3 4 2 2 3 3 1 2 2 1 2 2 2 1 CRI CRA CRS CRE CIA CIS CIE CIR CAS CAE CAR CAI CSE CSR CSI CSA CER CEI CEA CES Region Code Region Code Region Code Type S Type E Type C Region 6 5 5 5 6 5 5 6 4 4 5 5 3 4 4 3 4 4 4 3 Type R Region 10 9 9 9 10 9 9 10 8 8 9 9 7 8 8 7 8 8 8 7 Type I Code Region Code RIA RIS RIE RIC RAS RAE RAC RAI RSE RSC RSI RSA REC REI REA RES RCI RCA RCS RCE 8 7 7 7 8 7 7 8 6 6 7 7 5 6 6 5 6 6 6 5 IAS IAE IAC IAR ISE ISC ISR ISA IEC IER IEA IES ICR ICA ICS ICE IRA IRS IRE IRC Source. Adapted with permission. . p. 75).

machinists. & Fleishman. research contributing to the WWM’s 2000 update is summarized. Regarding theory. Campbell. and research indicate that workers (e. Mumford.g. 1999. Measures of skill self-confidence. Next. Many of these abilities and competencies (e. Department of Labor (DOL) Secretary’s Commission on Achieving Necessary Skills (U. IWRA (which obtains self-estimates for 15 work-relevant abilities) and UNIACT are described. counseling psychologists) differ on a wide range of abilities relevant to their work tasks. 1992). Holland (1997) associates 22 abilities and competencies with his six types. . The results of five studies. & Harmon.Prediger / ABILITIES. WORK-RELEVANT ABILITIES As used here.. The studies focus on validity for career planning applications. procedures for translating assessment results into WWM regions are described. Attention is then given to the IWP and its research-based link to the WWM. p. see Betz. self-efficacy beliefs. are summarized. etc. DOL. Peterson. “It appears that measures of workrelevant abilities differ sufficiently from measures of ability self-confidence [selfefficacy beliefs. 1992). leadership.S. and so forth are not discussed because they are the subjects of other articles in this journal issue and because no one seems to view them as ability measures (e. and they subsume “basic and cross-functional skills” (Mumford. work-relevant abilities include noncognitive abilities in addition to the usual cognitive abilities. 296). persuasive.S.] for both to be helpful when used in conjunction with measures of interests” (p. INTERESTS. & Childs. 1999) were used in the update. As noted by Prediger (1999b). Jeanneret.122 occupations in the O*NET Occupational Information Network (O*NET) (Peterson. theory. Common sense. insurance agents. Borman. practical and psychometric advantages of using self-estimates of abilities in career counseling. accountants. interior designers. social. and research documenting the unique career planning information provided by IWRA and UNIACT is reported. Harrington and Harrington (1996) identified 14 abilities primarily on the basis of earlier work by the DOL. Finally. 51). Next. 1996. artistic) are not routinely assessed by tests (if at all). For 12 of the abilities.g.. AND VALUES 215 discussed. and an aid (Table 1) is provided for using the WWM with any assessment that reports (or ranks) scores for Holland’s types. & Nilsen. Holland obtains self-estimates via the Self-Directed Search (Holland. Borgen.. Data for the 1. This article’s final section (Integration of Assessments via World-of-Work Map) begins with an overview of theory and research supporting the Data/Ideas (D/I) and Things/People (T/P) work task dimensions underlying the WWM and Holland’s hexagon. Informed common sense is reflected in the 17 abilities identified by Jones (1996) on the basis of studies by the U. Hyne.g. showing that the use of selfestimates can improve on the validity of test estimates (scores).

writing. and he reported new research that involved DOL JA data for occupations in the Dictionary of Occupational Titles (DOT) (U. Also relevant is the theory of work adjustment (Dawis & Lofquist. job analysis (JA) data.1 on p. Those that are assessed may be operationally defined by narrow test exercises and a brief sample of behavior (e. As indicated by the lower section of Table 2. Even if test estimates for a comprehensive set of work-relevant abilities could be obtained.. 1991). What appears to be the most recent evidence regarding the wide range of work-relevant abilities has been provided by the DOL report (Peterson et al. Limitations of Test Estimates of Abilities Unfortunately. as shown by their initials under the Table 2 career cluster titles. Although it would certainly be possible to add abilities to the list.g.216 JOURNAL OF CAREER ASSESSMENT / May 2002 1994). R-type occupations had the highest mean ratings for mechanical ability and manual dexterity. 1999) on the development of O*NET. reading. across tests. For example.g. persuasion. Ability ratings were available for 14 of the 15 abilities listed in Table 2. and research. social. and enterprising types are seldom assessed. 27). . information organization. When grouped by Holland type. math.. see Table 3. theory. A primary consideration was comprehensive coverage of Holland’s types.g. practical considerations suggested otherwise (ACT. 1965) leading to the identification of the abilities listed in Table 2. This seriously affects the comprehensiveness of a work-world search for occupational options. and E-type occupations had the highest mean ratings for meeting people and sales abilities. 1984.. Studies documenting work-relevant ability differences across occupations have involved test estimates of abilities. Ability test batteries typically assess only three or four work-relevant abilities beyond reading. abilities especially relevant to Holland’s artistic. because the ability estimates would likely be based on a diverse set of tests. they would likely require a substantial amount of time and resources—time and resources that may not be available in services providing career counseling for the many. ACT (2000) summarized the theory and research (beginning with Abe & Holland. in norm groups and score scales.g. 2000). numerical. the DOT occupations differed in sensible ways on those abilities. Also.. and language use (e. consider the typical spatial and clerical tests). and expert ratings. it is difficult (if not impossible) to obtain test estimates for many of the work-relevant abilities identified by common sense. DOL.. 1994). Prediger (1989) summarized the results of several studies.. the identification of ability strengths and weaknesses would be difficult due to differences. Expert ratings and job-incumbent ratings for 46 skills (e. see Kapes et al. management) generally showed sensible (work-relevant) differences across occupations. e.S. Finally.

b. Creative/artistic 10. see Table 2). a. they can make work-relevant self-concepts evident . Reading 2. Numerical 3. Abbreviations for related Holland (1997) types are shown in parentheses. Leadership (management) 15. Sales 14. one way around the limitations of ability test estimates is to use self-estimates. Note. 19). Adapted with permission. INTERESTS. More important. Helping others 13. Creative/literary 9. Meeting people 12.. AND VALUES 217 Table 2 Assignment of 15 Work-Relevant Abilities to Career Clusters Similar to Holland Types Career Clustera Science and Social Administration Business Technical Technologyb Arts Service and Salesb Operations (R) (I) (A) (S) (E) (C) Ability Abilities for which test estimates may be available 1. Manual dexterity 11.Prediger / ABILITIES. Advantages of Self-Estimates of Abilities When the goal is a work-world-comprehensive search for counselee-compatible career options. As discussed in the section on IWRA.g. Mechanical 7. An X indicates which abilities are used to obtain career cluster composite scores. business contact) when IWRA and UNIACT are next revised. These titles will replace the current Inventory of Work-Relevant Abilities (IWRA) and Unisex Edition of the ACT (UNIACT) Interest Inventory titles (science. Scientific Abilities for which test estimates are seldom available 8. self-estimates can systematically and efficiently address a wide range of work-relevant abilities (e. perhaps. Clerical 6. Organization X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X Source. Spatial perception 5. Language usage 4. p. From ACT (2000.

in effect. Jones (1996). as operationally defined by test items as versus examples of everyday activities and experiences. . Because one cannot assume that every test score and every self-estimate is accurate. Whether any one of those procedures has a psychometric advantage appears to be an open question. Perhaps these differences reflect bias. due to limited experience.onetcenter. Certainly. 545). for example. Insofar as culture affects behavior. The 15 abilities listed in Table 2 are broadly defined in everyday terms so that self-estimates can be informed by everyday experience—firsthand and vicarious. 294). Validity comparisons are needed to address the accuracy concern noted above (see the next section).org).218 JOURNAL OF CAREER ASSESSMENT / May 2002 to the counselor and counselee—and. 1988. during which they may be clarified and revised. they have been found. As Super (1957) noted more than 40 years ago. . Regarding gender differences. But as Anastasi and Urbina (1997) observed.g. The test-relevant literature on the possibility of racial/ethnic bias is too vast to discuss here. an anchored response scale. deliberate enhancement. For example. examples of activities. response style. The procedure used by IWRA (see section on IWRA) combines features of each of the procedures (e. Some persons may question the use of ability self-estimates because they assume self-estimates must be inaccurate. Some persons may be concerned that self-estimates of abilities are subject to racial/ethnic and gender bias. ability descriptions.. The same would seem to apply to self-estimates of ability. that is a legitimate concern regarding test estimates of abilities. In any case. choosing a means of implementing a self-concept” (p.) Prediger (1999a) noted that the two types of ability estimates are subject to similar kinds of distortion (e. both may be the problem if correlations between the two types of ability estimates are low. Regarding research. the context here is career counseling. see Harrington and Harrington (1996). (Also see Osberg & Shrauger. open for discussion. normed scores). . or cheating).. However. The only alternative is to discount them. see American College Testing. Normed scores are reported for each of Holland’s six types. spatial ability and clerical ability. . self-evaluation of ability may closely correspond to performance on criterion measures” (p. thus. one could question their use in college admissions or personnel selection. 196). Various procedures are used to obtain self-estimates of work-relevant abilities. Psychological Corporation. its influence will and should be detected by tests” (p. on test estimates of mechanical and clerical abilities (e.. 1992).g. Holland (1994). “Differences in the experiential backgrounds of groups or individuals are inevitably manifested in test performance. Certainly. 1990. “In choosing an occupation one is. and the O*NET Web site (http://online. One must also consider whether the test estimates and selfestimates assess the same ability constructs—for example. self-estimates (self-concepts) are prime topics for career counseling. Mabe and West (1982) summarized the findings of their (yet-to-be-replicated) meta-analysis of 55 studies involving self-evaluations of ability (self-estimates) as follows: “It appears that under certain measurement conditions.g.

The results of those studies are briefly reported below. In contrast. leadership. 1995). In one of the studies. More extensive summaries and references were provided by ACT (2000).g. students were assigned to Holland-type criterion groups on the basis of occupational choice. and PsycINFO keyword searches (http://www.com) on ability tests (etc.com) on Mabe and West (1982). As documented by Prediger (1998). a common way to determine an assessment’s career planning validity is to find the percentage of criterion group (e.) yielded no studies comparing the career planning validity of self-estimates and test estimates beyond the five summarized by ACT (2000).csa. But how do the validities of self-estimates and test estimates compare? The validity data summarized below were obtained because of their relevance for career planning—as versus predicting success in a specific occupation and so forth. in effect. important abilities may be missed (e. An ongoing. 1990). 12th graders were assigned to Holland-type criterion groups on the basis of vocational education program after being screened for success and satisfaction with program. 1988) to 10 (U. the fifth involved college students primarily in Grades 13 and 14. alone. 1998. (Prediger. self-estimates can efficiently address a wide range of work-relevant abilities by drawing on self-knowledge based on everyday experiences. INTERESTS.g. the self-estimates and test estimates were scaled and combined to form six ability composites. a Social Science Citation Index search (http://www. theory. organization. self-estimates for Abilities 7 through 15 in Table 2 were obtained via an early edition of IWRA.. AND VALUES 219 Validity of Self-Estimates and Test Estimates of Ability: A Comparison The common sense. The number of tests ranged from 6 (American College Testing. Because ability test batteries typically assess relatively few work-relevant abilities.) The composites were based on the four abilities flagged for each of the six career clusters in Table 2.) and self-estimates (etc. Across the five studies. (In one of the studies. sales. Criterion group hit rates for test estimates..Prediger / ABILITIES. and ability composites were obtained via discriminant analysis (DISANL) followed by the application of Bayes’s rule (Nurusis. artistic).) They were asked . self-estimates were used instead of test scores.webofscience. the “hit rate.S. this validation model is consistent with a primary use of career assessments—to identify personally relevant career options. In the other four studies. Four of the five studies involved students in Grades 11 or 12. To obtain a comprehensive set of work-relevant abilities. and research summarized above indicate that occupations differ on a wide range of abilities. whether members of a given occupational group would have been referred to that group by their scores. occupational group) members whose membership is predicted by the assessment’s scores—that is.” This validation model asks. Department of Defense. One of the studies also compared hit rates for test estimates and self-estimates for the same six abilities (Abilities 1-6 in Table 2). summarized research that supports the use of choice-based criterion groups. Test estimates were obtained for Abilities 1 through 6. Thus. systematic survey of the vocational psychology literature over the years.

g. teachers. fairly sure. the comprehensive assessment of work-relevant abilities made possible by the inclusion of self-estimates increased career planning validity beyond that obtained via test estimates typical of test batteries. and . This argument is addressed in the section following the sections on IWRA and UNIACT. IWRA Overview of IWRA As noted above. The response options were very sure. with a median of 34%. ACT (2000) summarized the theory. the results of five studies comparing the career planning validity of self-estimates and test estimates of work-relevant abilities show that using selfestimates improves on the validity of test estimates. For perspective. and practical considerations leading to the identification of the 15 abilities assessed by IWRA (see Table 2). In summary.620. which affect occupational choice. see Norris & Cochran. Across the five studies. and psychometric characteristics. with a median of 42%. see Swaney. for a summary). respectively. and the descriptions are accompanied by examples of common. sample sizes ranged from 356 to 1.. (The chance hit rate was 17%. development. and not sure. criterion group hit rates for test estimates of abilities ranged from 28% to 39%. those giving the second or third responses were excluded. However. however. the results of the study that compared test-estimate and self-estimate hit rates for the same six abilities counter this argument. peers. that these results were obtained because the self-estimates simply reflect interests.220 JOURNAL OF CAREER ASSESSMENT / May 2002 how sure they were that their occupational choice would still be their first choice 1 year later. In the study with the smallest sample.) Hit rates for the ability composites that included self-estimates ranged from 34% to 43%.g. 1977) of the abilities—that is. and so forth. the ability composite hit rates are similar to those typically reported in studies using Holland-type interest scales (e.. The goal is to elicit informed self-estimates (e. Comprehensive coverage of Holland’s (1997) types was a primary goal. After screening on certainty of choice. In the other three studies. The testestimate and self-estimate hit rates were 39% and 41%. scoring. research. students giving the third response were excluded from the hit rate analyses. feedback from parents. ability-related activities. 1995. everyday terms. The same publication also contains a copy of IWRA and an overview of its rationale. self-estimates informed by experience (firsthand and vicarious). The ability composites had higher hit rates (were more valid) in each of the five studies. employers. Some might argue. IWRA describes each of its 15 abilities in broad. It might be argued that test-estimate validity would have exceeded self-estimate validity if test estimates had been available for all 15 abilities involved in the above studies. Thus.

70) Sales ability is described as “Influencing people to buy a product. for example. Prediger (2002) summarized recent research showing that cross-sectional samples can exhibit substantial differences. combined-sex norms to obtain stanines for the Career Cluster Ability Scales. As noted above. to see what needs to be done first. 2000. second. Level 1 serves students in Grades 8 through 12. 2000. 70). to make a sale. Raw scores for IWRA’s six career clusters (hence. The relevance of IWRA abilities for Holland’s types was recently examined. Self-estimates for each of IWRA’s 15 abilities are reported on the same 5point scale.. After self-estimates have been provided for each of the 15 abilities. Holland’s RIASEC types) are obtained by summing the points for the four abilities assigned to each cluster (see Table 2).Prediger / ABILITIES. Using IWRA self-estimates obtained from two cross-sectional samples of 12th graders (Ns of 6l8 and 4. p. etc. p. by Prediger (1999a). For this reason.” These differences make the comparison of raw selfestimates of abilities problematic at best. (ACT. Consider your ability to change someone’s mind. and brief descriptions are provided for each scale position. For example. Standard errors of measurement (SEMs) are taken into account when this is done. in the extent of self-estimate “optimism. The result is a score for each of IWRA’s Career Cluster Ability Scales. IWRA’s construct validity was supported. More impor- . 5 = high (top 10%) and 4 = above average (top 25%). tools.387). Scale titles correspond to the career cluster titles in Table 2. For both DISCOVER and the CPS. he found a good fit between IWRA’s factor structure and the D/I and T/P work task dimensions underlying Holland’s hexagon. 2000. Consider your ability to keep to a schedule. comprehensive coverage of Holland’s (1997) RIASEC types was a primary goal. IWRA users indicate how they believe they rank compared to persons their age. IWRA uses nationally representative. doing things in a systematic way [boldface in original]. Thus. Organization ability.) so they are easy to find. from ability to ability. is described as follows: Keeping track of tasks and details. empirically. or take a suggested course of action [boldface in original]. INTERESTS. etc. IWRA is untimed and usually takes less than 10 minutes to complete. to bargain. service. WWM regions are determined from the three highest stanines (as discussed in this article’s concluding section). when available. users are asked to review their estimates and make any revisions suggested by the review. clippings.) Validity The theory and research leading to the identification of IWRA’s 15 abilities are relevant to its content and construct validity. (For IWRA reliability data. to persuade a group” (ACT. AND VALUES 221 test estimates. to store things (pictures. Level 2 serves college students and adults. see ACT.

222 JOURNAL OF CAREER ASSESSMENT / May 2002 tant. and this article’s concluding section on the WWM).. It differs from earlier editions of the ACT Interest Inventory in that it contains items that have similar response distributions for females and males. the section comparing the career planning validity of self-estimates and test estimates reported the results of five hit rate studies involving an early edition of IWRA.g. In each study. UNIACT items emphasize work-relevant activities (e. Level 1 serves students in Grades 8 through 12.. fix a toy. For the other sample. see Prediger. For reasons noted by Kuder (1977).g. occupational titles and job duties are not used. the hexagon location of the second highest scale was adjacent to the Holland type of all six criterion groups. UNIACT is untimed and usually takes less than 15 minutes to complete. These results provide additional evidence of IWRA’s criterion-related validity. 1995) and the article on using UNIACT in career planning (Prediger & Swaney. Mean score profiles for occupational choice groups provide another way to look at IWRA’s criterion-related validity. As reported by ACT (2000). the use of ability self-estimates improved on the career planning validity of test estimates. this was true for five of the six criterion groups. and scale titles correspond to the cluster titles in Table 2. For both samples. all six criterion groups scored highest on the Career Cluster Ability Scale corresponding to the group’s Holland type. see the 128-page technical manual (Swaney. UNIACT is part of five ACT programs/ services and is completed by approximately 5 million persons each year. As with IWRA. For one sample. scores are reported as stanines based on nationally representative. like) is used. and WWM regions are . The manner in which UNIACT’s six scores are reported differs across the services that use it. IWRA’s factor structure was shown to be similar to the factor structure of occupations and basic interests (e. coverage of Holland’s RIASEC types was a primary goal when UNIACT was developed/revised. In DISCOVER and the CPS. a three-choice response format (dislike. Level 2 serves college students and adults. Regarding IWRA’s criterion-related validity. 1996. 1995). the occupational choices of Grade 12 students in two cross-sectional samples were used to establish RIASEC criterion groups. sketch pictures. indifferent. Hit rate data for the current edition of IWRA (two studies) are reported in the section following the description of UNIACT. Each of the six UNIACT Career Cluster scales contains 15 items. UNIACT Overview of UNIACT Relatively little will be said here about UNIACT because so much has been written following its 1977 introduction and 1989 revision—for example. combined-sex norms. help settle an argument) that are familiar to most persons—either through participation or observation (firsthand or vicarious).

Again. African Americans. and for nearly half of the groups. chance = 17%). occupational choice. as a whole. As reported by Swaney (1995). As noted in this article’s introduction and the discussion of IWRA. see Swaney. Day. As documented by Swaney (1995). these hit rates compare favorably with those of other interest inventories assessing Holland types. theory and research indicate that the D/I and T/P work task dimensions underlie Holland’s two-dimensional hexagon. hit rates ranged from 31% to 55% (median of 42%. Evidence that these procedures were successful is provided by studies of UNIACT structure (i. Approximately 75% of the criterion groups scored highest on the UNIACT scale appropriate to their group. 10th.) Validity The procedures used to ensure that UNIACT’s items adequately address Holland’s types are relevant to its content and construct validity. INTERESTS. results compare favorably with other assessments of Holland types. and 12th graders and a cross-sectional sample of adults were used to obtain scale correlations with the two work task dimensions. and Native Americans.) . 1995. Another way to look at criterion-related validity is to see how criterion groups. As with IWRA. with occupation. plots of the correlations on the two dimensions provided a good approximation of Holland’s hexagon. Two thirds of the groups consisted of college students or adults. and Swaney (1998) obtained good hexagon approximations in analyses of UNIACT intercorrelations for 11th. and employed adults.and 4-year college students. Both longitudinal and cross-sectional designs have been used. (Also see Prediger & Vansickle. The chance rate was 17%.000 persons) that used the highest UNIACT score (high-point code) to predict criterion group membership. Targeted principal components analyses (PRINCOs) of UNIACT scale intercorrelations for nationally representative samples of 8th. SEMs are taken into account. construct validity) based on scale intercorrelations. (For UNIACT reliability data. (Also see Prediger & Swaney.Prediger / ABILITIES.and 12thgrade Caucasian Americans. Regarding UNIACT’s criterion-related validity.e. 68.040). Across the studies. 2. The above results appear to provide good support for UNIACT’s construct validity. Similar results were obtained in separate analyses for females and males. Swaney (1995) provided three-letter (Holland) code summaries based on the mean interest scores of 648 criterion groups (N = 79. AND VALUES 223 determined from the three highest stanines.) More recently. Asian Americans. Criterion group hit rates were obtained in 14 studies (23 sets of RIASEC criterion groups. more than 30 studies have been conducted. 1995. or college major serving as the criterion. All analyses were conducted separately for females and males. score on a set of scales. Rounds. Mexican Americans. 1992. the mean scores were obtained in studies with a longitudinal design. and samples have included 12th graders.

One way to estimate overlap is to obtain IWRA and UNIACT high-point codes for each member of a sample. For both samples. The same two samples were also used to determine agreement hit rates. However.224 JOURNAL OF CAREER ASSESSMENT / May 2002 CONSIDERATIONS REGARDING INTEGRATION OF ABILITY AND INTEREST ASSESSMENTS As noted above. . some might argue that using ability self-estimates improves on the career planning validity of test estimates because self-estimates simply reflect interests. These correlations suggest common variance ranging from only 16% to 20%.43.43. address this argument. Results of research involving both IWRA and UNIACT. . which affect occupational choice. it is also important to know whether the scores commonly reported to counselees have independent and agreement validity (Prediger. the hit rates were 57% and 50%. only about 35% of the students would have been referred to the same Holland type had their IWRA and UNIACT high-point codes been used in a search for occupational options. and . Across four cross-sectional samples of high school students. However. these interindividual correlations do not reflect the degree of overlap in the occupational options suggested by IWRA and UNIACT score profiles. Across the four samples. respectively. Thus. Hence. correlations for parallel RIASEC scales were generally in the forties.45. Median correlations were . they are based on one pair of scales at a time (which is common in the research literature). the IWRA hit rates for UNIACT misses (the independent hit rates) were 25% for both samples. Independent and Agreement Validity Although validity data for ability and interest measures are typically reported separately. Students were assigned to criterion groups on the basis of occupational choice screened on certainty (as discussed earlier). 1999b) when the measures are used in tandem. IWRA and UNIACT high-point codes were used to obtain RIASEC criterion group hit rates for 12th graders in the two samples cited above. . Evidence of Uniqueness Correlations between IWRA and UNIACT scales were reported by ACT (2000). which is substantially better than chance (17%). summarized below. the separate hit rates for UNIACT (44% and 41%) were somewhat higher than for IWRA (38% and 35%). When IWRA and UNIACT high-point codes agreed.40. Because career assessment interpretations are generally based on multiscore profiles. results of both types of IWRA-UNIACT analyses contradict the argument that ability self-estimates simply reflect interests.

209). However. extent of physical activity. and so forth. in both types of analyses.) Interpretation of Profile Shape As summarized by Prediger (1998). When these results are considered in the context of the evidence of uniqueness summarized above. not level. Across the 23 samples. to provide like. This results in scores that reflect what is variously known as acquiescent style. PRINCOs of the interest scores showed that all of the RIASEC scales had high positive correlations with the first (and by far. For two cross-sectional samples of 12th graders. This appears to be especially important when counselors use interest measures in tandem with measures of ability and/or measures of ability self-confidence. RIASEC criterion groups were based on current occupation. RIASEC criterion groups were based on occupational choice screened on certainty. self-efficacy. response bias. the median correlation was about . For an 8-year follow-up sample of adults who completed UNIACT in Grade 11 or 12. Prediger obtained the factor structure underlying the RIASEC interest scores of persons in 23 diverse samples (N = 53. used alone. the literature indicates that scores based on interest scales using Likert-type responses (as most basic interest scales do) are subject to differences in the tendency. On the basis of these results.65.Prediger / ABILITIES. it is clear that IWRA’s ability self-estimates do not simply reflect interests. and so forth responses—regardless of item content. Prediger noted that this response-style component directly affects interest profile level. the high and low profile groups had similar hit rates. or response style. and he suggested that counselors interpret interest profile shape.429). To determine whether interest profile level indicates strength of interest in addition to response style. (Also see Tracey & Hopkins. Thus. see Prediger. AND VALUES 225 These hit rates were substantially higher than the hit rates for IWRA and UNIACT used separately (see above). Prediger (1998) obtained criterion group hit rates for persons with high and low UNIACT score profiles. dislike. (Regarding research on the meaning of IWRA profile level. If interest profile level reflects strength of interest. Prediger (1998) concluded that “there is no reason to believe profile level indicates strength of interest” (p. In a study involving 10 widely used interest inventories. Work- . training time. income.g. 1999a. INTERESTS. the tandem use of IWRA and UNIACT improved on the validity of IWRA and UNIACT. public contact). the largest) principal component. one would expect higher hit rates for the high profile groups. 2001..) IWP IWP obtains preferences for attributes on which occupations typically differ (e. across persons.

“wanting interesting work” can be considered to be a work value.) IWP is embedded in DISCOVER’s Inventory of Work-Relevant Values (IWRV). independent validity. don’t want.226 JOURNAL OF CAREER ASSESSMENT / May 2002 relevant interests and occupational attribute (OA) preferences (work values) are similar to some extent. (Also see Super.. Dawis (1991) concluded that “the two domains are distinct. IWP results could not be reported by Holland type. somewhat important. focus on the importance (to the person) of specific OAs. two DISANL) identified seven OAs that were primarily education related. Overview of IWP The 30-item IWP’s rationale. flexible hours. Following a review of related research. only 16 of the 30 IWP items are used in the linkage procedure. assessments of these constructs have a different focus (Dawis. Work value inventories. Research on IWP. In this regard. occupational titles. five OAs were eliminated from the linkage procedure. and agreement validity is under way. Hence. contrary to IWRA and UNIACT. Regarding the uniqueness and validity of work value assessments in general. development. p. It contains those IWRV OAs that tend to characterize an occupation across work settings (see examples above) rather than OAs specific to a given work setting (e. Persons express their preference for each IWP item (OA) by choosing one of four response options: very important. which is untimed and takes about 15 minutes to complete. (For reasons noted below. these redundant OAs were candidates for exclusion from the WWM linkage procedure. For example. respected employer). I really want this characteristic in my work” (Prediger & Staples. 1995. Additional analyses (one PRINCO. not important. see Dawis (2001). on the other hand. On the basis of test-retest reliability data. . and WWM linkage procedure are described by Prediger and Staples (1996). the IWP-WWM linkage procedure could not use WWM regions.g. 1996. who also provided a copy of the inventory. Interest inventories address the extent to which a person likes specific work-relevant activities. Because educational plans are separately addressed by DISCOVER. 2001). and so forth. if overlapping” (p. as are the procedures used to obtain OA ratings for occupations and to identify the OAs used in the WWM linkage procedure (a topic addressed below). and UNIACT uniqueness. But the similarities are far from identities. research support.) In addition. 52). the first option is defined as follows: “This characteristic is very important [boldface in original] to me. Each option is defined. short commute. 847). IWP-WWM Linkage Procedure A PRINCO of OA ratings for a cross section of 497 occupations showed that. IWRA. The literature review resulting in the identification of IWP OAs is relevant to IWP validity.

g. After degree-of-fit scores are obtained for all occupations. high income. Their location on the WWM can readily be compared with the map regions reported for IWRA and UNIACT. For reasons they noted. 1993. somewhat important. DISCOVER. an education-related OA. The career areas and their locations on the two versions of the map are identical. as determined from the nature of the match. More generally.” A user’s preference for a given OA is then compared with the OA’s rating for each DISCOVER occupation. The formats differ somewhat because . Rather. a DISANL was conducted on the OA ratings for 497 occupations grouped by the six career clusters paralleling Holland’s types (Table 2). But. and an expected utility is assigned to each occupation. those to which users respond very important. The IWP-WWM linkage procedure uses the 12 OAs identified in the DISANL and 4 OAs included on the basis of special considerations (e. interests. Prediger and Staples (1996) described 12 guidelines used in developing the IWP-WWM linkage procedure. those in the technical cluster had low ratings). provides descriptions of the occupations and relevant education/training. it is not intended to provide a precise scientific statement. the WWM is used to link work-relevant abilities. Users wishing to explore any of IWP-related career areas can request a rank-ordered list of occupations that best fit their work values.Prediger / ABILITIES. the goal is to strike a balance between work-world complexity and simplicity of use. and values to each other and to occupational options. Shaffer. for a comparison. AND VALUES 227 To identify OAs that could be used in the linkage procedure. & Arachtingi. Thus. mean scores are calculated for the occupations in each of the WWM’s 26 career areas.. IWP criterion-related validity was supported. INTERESTS.) Of the 16 OAs noted above. or don’t want are included on the user’s “linkage list. it provides an overview of the work world—how groups of similar occupations (career areas) compare with respect to basic work tasks. INTEGRATION OF ASSESSMENTS VIA WWM As illustrated by the case study.g.. Expected utilities for an occupation are then summed across all OAs on the user’s linkage list to obtain a total degreeof-fit score for the occupation. the expected utility (compensatory) decision-making model was used rather than the sequential elimination model. and the top four career areas are reported to the user. was included because of its endorsement rate in two field studies involving high school students). The same goal led to the development of two versions of the map—one for professionals (Figure 1) and one for counselees (available to readers on request). (See Lichtenberg. Substantial and sensible differentiation of clusters was obtained for 12 OAs (e. Career areas are ranked on those scores. of course. occupations in the social service cluster had high ratings on public contact. because the map was developed for use as a career planning tool.

the one for counselees does not include Holland’s RIASEC types). occupations have some involvement with the four basic work tasks: working with data (e. Stated differently. numbers. 1998) on Holland’s six work environments for each of the 1.. tools. things (e. Prediger et al. But usually only one or two of the basic work tasks capture the primary nature of an occupation. Accordingly. machines. business procedures). leads.573 recency-screened occupations in . 1993. ideas-related work tasks tend to be secondary. verify. WWM’s Bases in Research During the WWM’s 2000 update. it is to organize. ideas (e. when ideas-related work tasks are primary. Recent research involving three diverse occupational databases is reported for the first time in the section that follows.. Because the map’s bases in theory and research have been discussed in numerous publications over the years (e.g.. only a brief overview is provided here.g. The structural analyses summarized in the sections on IWRA and UNIACT are also relevant. The WWM uses these dimensions and its 26 career areas to summarize similarities and differences among occupations. (b) JA data for 1. facts. Research reported in the publications cited above indicates that the bipolar D/I and T/P work task dimensions underlie Holland’s hexagon in the manner shown by the hexagon’s positioning on the map. 1996. cares for. and so forth data in a systematic manner. theories.122 occupations in O*NET. career area content and map locations were determined from three databases: (a) expert ratings (Rounds. the WWM is an extension of Holland’s hexagon.. but the primary purpose is not to create ideas. 2000. Rather. record. Similarly. who obtained D/I and T/P factors in a PRINCO of self-efficacy beliefs regarding work tasks. data-related work tasks tend to be secondary. Basic Work Tasks Dimensions As noted in this article’s introduction. living things..g. & Rivkin. and metal).228 JOURNAL OF CAREER ASSESSMENT / May 2002 of their audiences (e. new ways of saying or doing something). For example. Hubert.g. people one serves. The overview begins with a discussion of the D/I and T/P work task dimensions that provide the foundation for the map. Prediger. files. Lewis. ACT. 1981. 1995). Prediger & Swaney. the hexagon forms the core of the map. Smith. and people (e. Most. The same applies to the bipolar things and people work tasks.. The empirically based WWM was developed in 1971 to 1972 and last updated in 2000. if not all. when data-related work tasks are primary. persuades). and Holland’s RIASEC types appear on the periphery with related career cluster titles. wood.g. as is research by Tracey (1997). insights.g. and materials such as food. an accountant may work with ideas. informs..

In addition. DOL. correlations between the D/I and T/P scores ranged near zero.77. Research (Prediger. and . and JA-interest (. These databases provided three diverse perspectives for the WWM update: (a) general nature of work (expert ratings). AND VALUES 229 the DOT (U. Score reliability is also taken into account in determining the rank order of the RIASEC scores. map locations are reported in terms of two or three map regions—in keeping with the level of score reliability and the map’s use in the early stages of career planning. which are unusually high for scores based on diverse assessment procedures. a person’s IWRA and UNIACT scores for Holland’s types are used to obtain WWM regions. 2.78). 1981) showed that the D/I and T/P scores obtained from three-letter codes correlate in the low . (b) detailed nature of work (JA data). the correlations were . The three databases were used to obtain D/I and T/P work task dimension scores for each of the 1.S. The assignments of occupations to career areas were then revised to increase career area homogeneity with respect to basic work tasks. some career areas were combined. For the D/I scores. However. Because three-letter codes reflect profile shape rather than profile level. and new career areas were created.74. Initially.75). . It would be possible to use D/I and T/P scores to report a person’s WWM location as an exact coordinate point.90s with D/I and T/P scores obtained via the six-score procedure. rating-interest (. These correlations. and (c) Holland-type mean interest scores (four interest inventories. scores for all three databases were available. six samples) for persons pursuing 640 (sometimes overlapping) occupations. Purpose of work and work setting were also considered. Although the formulas can be applied to all six Holland-type scores. their use is in keeping with the considerations noted earlier in this article. respectively. occupational assignments were again revised. After a second set of plots was obtained. For many of these occupations. For the T/P scores. and (c) interests of workers (mean interest scores). and 1 in the formulas.Prediger / ABILITIES. DISCOVER and the CPS use only the highest three scores—that is.122 O*NET occupations. As expected.78). How WWM Regions Are Obtained As noted in the case study. This process continued until career area homogeneity stabilized. 1995) that produce D/I and T/P scores through the use of score weights based on the hexagon’s geometry.81. 1991) electronic database update (DOT. and most recently discussed by Swaney. 1981. These scores are replaced with scores of 4. 1999). work task dimension scores were used to plot O*NET occupations in each of the previous map’s 23 career areas. provide good support for the work task dimensions. three-letter (Holland) codes. A complex set of . INTERESTS. The procedure begins with the application of formulas (originally presented by Prediger. correlations for database pairs were as follows: rating-JA (. Figure 2 arranges the career areas by career cluster and provides occupational examples drawn from DISCOVER.

Prediger and Swaney (1995) explained how map regions reflect the configuration and interaction of scores for Holland’s types. IA: Author. Because there are 120 three-letter codes and only 12 map regions. (1997). Iowa City. Hyne. S. those discussed in this journal issue) and link them to career options. or conflicting Holland types are tied for highest (e.. L. (1999). the same map regions can be associated with different three-letter codes. Research support for DISCOVER assessment components. E. Students with different vocational choices (ACT Research Report No. & Urbina. American College Testing. split map regions may be reported. DISCOVER also assesses work-relevant values (IWP). Psychological testing (7th ed. Of course. NJ: Prentice Hall.g. H. When score profiles are flat.230 JOURNAL OF CAREER ASSESSMENT / May 2002 decision rules address instances of tied scores. A. J. Skills Confidence Inventory: Applications and technical guide.). Anastasi. Minneapolis.” and career area charts that group the 555 DISCOVER occupations by career area and education/training level are available. L. P. Career Planning Survey technical manual. & Harmon. L.). (1992). E. IA: Author. R. Table 1 shows the relationships between three-letter codes and formula-based map regions. Campbell.. A. D. Palo Alto. N. 4). IA: Author. Interim psychometric handbook for the 3rd edition ACT Career Planning Program. ACT. the mapping procedure can be used to help counselees see (literally) how their WWM regions were obtained. Iowa City. Manual for the Campbell Interest and Skill Survey.. As illustrated by Prediger et al. integration and linkage is automatic for users of DISCOVER and the CPS. (1965). ACT. the “list. from the author. Full-sized copies of the map. DISCOVER and the CPS assess work-relevant abilities (IWRA) and interests (UNIACT). IA: American College Testing.g. As summarized in this article.. (2000)... (1993). Iowa City. and depending on the nature of the ties. Betz. The CPS uses IWRA and UNIACT. & Nilsen.. REFERENCES Abe. . IWRA makes a unique contribution to both services because it assesses the wide range of abilities relevant to work-world-comprehensive career exploration and planning. Iowa City. F.. D. and they noted that this might best be understood through use of Miller’s (1985) graphic mapping procedure. A. S. the WWM can be used by anyone who wishes to integrate career assessments that report scores for Holland’s types (e. no map regions are reported. Englewood Cliffs. W. Borgen. C. at no charge. (1996). (1988). MN: National Computer Systems. A description of college freshmen: II. Implications for Career Counselors With the aid of Table 1 and related materials. CA: Consulting Psychologists Press. & Holland.

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