Assignment: Assessing Career Counseling

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Assignment: Assessing Career Counseling

Assignment: Assessing Career Counseling

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Assignment: Assessment in Career Counseling and Development

Personal-Psychological Characteristics

Most researchers call these traits

Aptitude- defined as specific capacities and abilities required of an individual to learn or adequately perform a task or job duty

9 abilities identified by the O*Net development team

Verbal ability

Arithmetic reasoning


Spatial ability

Form perception

Clerical perception

Motor coordination

Finger dexterity

Manual dexterity


Likes or preferences or the things people enjoy

Super described 4 types of interests:

Expressed interests: verbal statements or claims of interest

Manifest interests: Interests exhibited through actions and participation

Inventoried interests: estimates of interests based on responses to a set of questions concerning likes and dislikes (e.g., the Strong Interest Inventory)

Tested interests: Interests revealed under controlled situations


Typically defined as the sum total of an individual’s beliefs, perceptions, emotions and attitudes

Assignment: Assessing Career Counseling

Myers-Briggs Type Indicator appears to be the personality inventory most often chosen by career centers on college campuses

MBTI yields 4 bipolar scales:





Contains 16 personality types

Assessment and Career Counseling

Has long been a part of the career counseling process

Arguments for and against the use of traditional and nontraditional assessment procedures falls along theoretical and philosophical lines

Hansen (2013) asserts use of traditional interest inventories can be of assistance in developing self-understanding and as one guide to occupational selection

Hansen suggests that assessment should provide a partial guide to decision making

Expected outcomes of Career Assessment

Develop a readiness to make a career decision

Develop confidence (self-efficacy) that she or he can make a wise decision

Develop self-awareness (interests, values, abilities, etc.)

Develop a future orientation

Assess clients decision-making approach

Assess client’s satisfaction wit the career counseling process and the career counselor’s effectiveness

Clinical, Quantitative and Qualitative Approaches to Assessment

Clinical Assessment

occurs whenever a career counselor applies information gathered through training and experience to classify, diagnose or predict a client’s behavior or problem (Gregory, 2006)

is at best an adjunct for use with other types of assessment

Quantitative Assessment

Most familiar to clients because they have taken achievement battery tests as they’ve progressed through school

Qualitative Assessment

Bound by less rigid parameters

Scoring is more subjective

Tend to involve clients more actively than standardized or objective tests and inventories

Examples of qualitative assessment devices according to Goldman (1990) including card sorts, values clarification exercises, simulations such as the use of work samples and observations.

Assignment: Assessing Career Counseling

Qualitative Assessment and Constructivist Theory

Major difference between logical positivists (Holland) and constructivists (Savickas)

Positivists rely heavily on traditional measurement devices such as interest and personality inventories.

Postmodernists, such as constructivists, believe that each individual constructs his or her own unique reality. They use assessments designed to elicit the individual’s perspective.

Positivists search for fit and postmodernists search for meaning.

Examples of post modern assessment strategies: Career-O-Grams, role play, card sorts and genograms.

Qualitative and Objective Assessment Devices

Some assessment devices can serve as either qualitative or objective assessment devices although most are used as one or the other.

Self efficacy assessment measurements can serve in either capacity. Self efficacy has traditionally be measured by

First, identifying a task to be performed

Second, asking clients to estimate the degree of difficulty of the task and the extent of the confidence to perform the task

Third, estimating their performance in related situations

An interesting trends is assessment in the past decade is away from assessing self-efficacy qualitatively and toward quantitative measure of perceived self-efficacy.

Pairing self-efficacy data with information about interests provides a better predictor of occupational choice than using either assessment alone.

Values Inventories

Values are learned or may row out of needs and are assumed to be a basic source of human motivation.

4 inventories:

Super’s Work Values Inventory

Work Importance Locator and Work Importance Profiler

Life Values Inventory

Career Orientations Placement and Evaluation Survey

Interest Inventories

Hundreds of thousands of interest inventories are administered each year. Typically inventories that are used in career development programs to promote awareness use either the normative or the raw score approach.

Some examples:

Career Occupational Preference System; Self-Directed Search; Career Decision Making System; Strong Interest Inventory and Skills Confidence Inventory; Kuder Occupational Interest Survey; O*Net Interest Profiler

Research supports the continued use of these inventories.

Personality Inventories

Few personality inventories have captured the interest of career counselors perhaps because many were developed to measure abnormal behavior

Two examples: Myers Briggs Type Indicator; Sixteen P.F. Personal Career Development Profile For other options consult A Counselor’s Guide to Career Assessment Instruments (Wood & Hays, 2013)

Multiple Aptitude Test Batteries

These test measure what has already been learned which is an indicator of future performance. When taken as one indicator of potential aptitude, tests can be of assistance to clients attempting to make career plans or can simply be one way of promoting self-awareness.

Some examples: Differential Aptitude Test (DAT); Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB); O*Net Ability Profiler

Diagnostic Inventories

Have been developed to measure certain career development “problems”.

Some examples: Career Decision Scale; My Vocational Situation; Career Beliefs Inventory; Career Thoughts Inventory

Multi-Purpose Tests and Inventories

Measure more than one construct (e.g., interests and aptitudes)

They have been developed for specific purposes, typically for use with special populations.

Some examples: McCarron-Dial System; PESCO 2001/Online

Selecting Assessment Devices

Once the client’s needs and the purpose of the instrument are aligned, the technical characteristics of the instrument should be examined.

Reliability and validity issues and the representativeness of the norm groups deserve special consideration and are of the utmost importance in the selection of tests and inventories.

The ethical principles developed by the American Counseling Association (2005) and American Psychological Association (2010) should guide these considerations.

Counselors must be competent in the use of the any assessment device selected and the welfare of the client must be maintained.

Gender and Cultural bias

It is probably fair to say that tests and inventories are biased to come degree, but that most counselors attempt to use these products in a nondiscriminatory fashion.

Many of the bias issues can be summed up in a single word: language.

Other issues: the time needed to take the test or inventory; the cost; the reading level; the availability of computerized or hand scoring and the counselors preference are all factors to take into consideration when selecting tests or inventories.

Interpreting Test and Inventory Results

The interpretation of test results, along with selection and administration is one of the most important steps in the assessment process.

5 approaches to interpretation of quantitative assessment devices may be used:

Computerized interpretations

Self-interpretation using materials provided by the publisher

Interactive approaches in which the client leads

Interactive approaches in which the counselor leads

Combinations of these approaches

Steps in the interpretation process:

Counselor becomes thoroughly familiar with all aspects of the instrument

Review the results of the tests and inventories prior to meeting with the client

Interpreting the results of tests and inventories is to consider the clients involved

General steps in the interpretation process (Prince and Heiser (2000)

Check to see if any unusual factors influenced the client during the administration of the test.

Check to see if the client was motivated during the test.

Provide an overview of the instrument to be interpreted.

Give a brief description of the scale and what they mean.

Check for understanding.

Explain how scores are presented (e.g., percentiles) and present scores.

Check for agreement with the results.

Interpret the scores or allow the client to make his or her own interpretation.

Compare assessment results with information gained qualitatively in the interview. Are the results consistent with real-life events?

Troubleshoot as necessary (flat, low interest inventory profile; too many options; conflicts in the family or group; bad news).

Complete interpretation with a summary of the results and by providing self-interpretation material that can be used for future reference by the client.

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