Printer Friendly

John Holland's contributions: a theory-ridden approach to career assistance.

  Holland influenced practice and research in career development by
  contributing a clear theory useful in organizing information about
  individuals and career alternatives and for understanding
  individuals' entry and persistence in occupational and other
  environments. His theory was repeatedly revised in response to
  evidence. As Holland's own career unfolded in a succession of
  organizational environments, he used the research opportunities these
  environments afforded to conduct large-sample tests of his ideas and
  assessment tools. J. L. Holland's (1970) Self-Directed Search is
  intended to be a career intervention, and Holland developed it and
  tested it as such. In outlining Holland's contributions to career
  counseling, a precis of his theory and some biographical context are


Holland's theory, assessment instruments, and intervention tools transformed the delivery of vocational assistance by counselors, schools, and impersonal mechanisms. This occurred because of the organizing power of his theory of persons and environments, the case with which the theory can be communicated to counselors and clients, and the self-directed nature of the interventions and assessments he developed. This influence on counseling is due partly to the results of a long-term program of science in the pursuit of solutions to practical problems in vocational counseling and partly to the creativity and craft of an author devoted to helping clients understand themselves, their vocational alternatives, and their career situations.

In this article, we first describe the assessment and intervention tools that Holland developed. We then relate how Holland used the opportunities in the environments he experienced over the course of his career to test and elaborate the theory over time. Finally, despite its influence on career counseling, many practitioners and researchers remain familiar only with certain parts of Holland's theory of vocational personalities and work environments. Therefore, in a final section, we provide an overall sketch of the theory to direct attention to portions of Holland's work that have practical applications in counseling, but that some counselors and researchers often overlook.

Assessment and Intervention Tools

After an energetic decade of developing, testing, and revising a typology typology /ty·pol·o·gy/ (ti-pol´ah-je) the study of types; the science of classifying, as bacteria according to type.


the study of types; the science of classifying, as bacteria according to type.
 of vocational personalities and work environments (Holland, 1959), Holland used the theory as a template for the Self-Directed Search (SDS 1. (company) SDS - Scientific Data Systems.
2. (tool) SDS - Schema Definition Set.
; Holland, 1970). Unlike his earlier inventory to assess vocational personality (Vocational Preference Inventory [VPI VPI Voice Print International (Camarillo, CA)
VPI Virtual Path Identifier (used in Asynchronous Transfer Mode)
VPI Virginia Polytechnic Institute (aka Virginia Tech) 
]; Holland, 1958), Holland regarded the SDS as both an assessment instrument and a vocational intervention, sometimes referring to it as a counseling simulation. There will never be enough counselors to provide direct services to individuals who might benefit from career assistance, and the SDS provides test takers with a self-directed exploration of themselves and of occupational alternatives. The SDS provides a structure for organizing this information in parallel terms and for making inferences about the congruence con·gru·ence  
a. Agreement, harmony, conformity, or correspondence.

b. An instance of this: "What an extraordinary congruence of genius and era" 
 between the self and occupational alternatives. This inexpensive, self-directed exploratory experience was part of a plan to provide "vocational guidance for everyone" (Holland, 1974, p. 9) by using a "theory-ridden, computerless, impersonal vocational guidance system" (Holland, 1971, p. 167). The SDS included a pair of booklets that allowed clients to express their occupational daydreams and give psychological meaning to them by using an occupational classification; it helped clients to assess their preferences, activities, competencies, and self-estimates using a parallel classification; and it encouraged clients to explore a range of occupational alternatives organized using the typology.

Because he viewed the SDS as both an assessment tool and an intervention, Holland and his colleagues set out to test the effects it had on users. In a series of experiments, the SDS was found to increase the occupational options being considered, develop knowledge about the classification of occupations, and reduce clients' concerns about career planning. The SDS intervention was shown to have similar beneficial effects for both young men and young women. Unlike the typical test manual that reports only psychometric psy·cho·met·rics  
n. (used with a sing. verb)
The branch of psychology that deals with the design, administration, and interpretation of quantitative tests for the measurement of psychological variables such as intelligence, aptitude, and
 data, the SDS manual (Holland, Fritzsche, & Powell, 1994) also reports the results of the experimental investigations of the effects of SDS as a vocational intervention on test takers.

The SDS became a widely used and widely imitated instrument. Holland's theory was incorporated in a revision of the Strong Vocational Interest Blank (Campbell, 1971) through the cooperative effort of David P. Campbell and Holland (1972) to produce the Strong-Campbell Interest Inventory (Campbell, 1974)--the forerunner to the current Strong Interest Inventory (Harmon, Hansen, Borgen, & Hammer, 1994). Other inventories also incorporated or were developed using Holland's personality typology. Today a variety of inventories using it are available in self-scored, machine-scored, and Internet forms in multiple languages worldwide. Equally important, the theory undergirding the SDS stimulated research by others. As a result, there can be little doubt today that the classification and the approximate hexagonal hex·ag·o·nal  
1. Having six sides.

2. Containing a hexagon or shaped like one.

3. Mineralogy
 configuration has broad applicability across gender and cultural differences (Day, Rounds, & Swaney, 1998).

Any one theory has a limited scope of convenience. The person-environment (P-E) explanations of vocational behavior usually known as Holland's theory are limited by what is included in the personality and environmental formulations. Many influences on people's careers are outside of the scope of the P-E theory. For instance, caring for a child or an aging parent places requirements on an individual that influence vocational behavior and adjustment. Similarly, a person's general psychological health, the influence of an abusive work environment, work overload, and geographical or other personal constraints influence satisfaction and other areas of vocational adjustment. The Career Attitudes and Strategies Inventory (CASI CASI Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq (UK)
CASI Center for Aerospace Information
CASI Council on Accreditation and School Improvement
CASI Canadian Aeronautics and Space Institute
CASI Canadian Association of Snowboard Instructors
; Holland & Gottfredson, 1994) was developed to supplement the P-E theory by providing a direct assessment of some other aspects of adult career status. Like the SDS, the CASI is intended to be both an assessment tool and an intervention. The limited experimental research on its effects on clients is promising (Russell, 2006), and more research on its effects would be helpful.

Holland's Career in Environmental Context

John Lewis Holland was born in Omaha, Nebraska “Omaha” redirects here. For other uses, see Omaha (disambiguation).
Omaha is the largest city in the State of Nebraska, United States. It is the county seat of Douglas County.GR6 As of the 2000 census, the city had a population of 390,007.
, in 1919. His English-immigrant father had been a laborer but became a successful advertising man in the United States United States, officially United States of America, republic (2005 est. pop. 295,734,000), 3,539,227 sq mi (9,166,598 sq km), North America. The United States is the world's third largest country in population and the fourth largest country in area. . The family had intellectual and artistic interests: John's mother had been a teacher, his brother Bill became a steel company president, his sister Jean is a professor of pathology and benefactor ben·e·fac·tor  
One that gives aid, especially financial aid.

[Middle English, from Late Latin, from Latin benefacere, to do a service; see benefaction.
 of the arts, and his brother Dick was successful in advertising and investing and has become a prominent philanthropist and patron of the arts.

Holland considered becoming a musician, but he decided against it because others seemed to him to have more talent. Nevertheless, he maintained a lifelong interest in art and music--collecting art, continuing to play the piano, and beginning voice lessons in his 80s. He also explored a career in the life sciences before settling on psychology. After graduating from the Municipal University of Omaha, Holland served in the army for 3 1/2 years as a clerk, test proctor, classification interviewer, and psychological assistant. As a personnel clerk during World War II, Holland began to regard the soldiers whose biographical information he processed as representative of a few personality types. This was the origin of what later developed into his taxonomy of vocational personalities.

His concern with the classification of work environments came later, as he found that counselors who delivered career-related services were hampered by unwieldy collections of ill-organized occupational information. On the one hand, counselors had the Kuder Preference Record (Kuder, 1951) or the Strong Vocational Interest Blank to assess interests, and on the other, they had a mismatched classification of occupations embodied in the Dictionary of Occupational Titles The Dictionary of Occupational Titles, commonly known as the DOT (Pronounced Dee-Oh-Tee) was the creation of the U.S. Employment Service, which used its thousands of occupational definitions to match job seekers to jobs from 1939 to the late 1990s.  (U.S. Employment Service, 1949). Therefore Holland set to work on the practical problem of occupational classification. His whimsical idea of developing a personality inventory composed entirely of occupational tides facilitated the task of occupational classification. Holland's (1958) VPI was composed entirely of occupational titles, and the tides that composed the six occupational scales of the VPI became his initial occupational classification. The demands of Holland's own work environments--vocational counseling at Western Reserve University and at the Perry Point VA (Veterans Affairs Veterans Affairs is a term of the business that deals with the relation between a government and its veteran communities, usually administered by the designated government agency. ) Hospital--led him to see the potential of parallel taxonomies of persons and work environments. A taxonomy of occupations that corresponded with a taxonomy of persons would provide a structured way to help clients consider occupations not explicitly keyed in an inventory. But before developing his theory of personalities and environments, Holland first navigated the empirical-atheoretical environment of his graduate studies at the University of Minnesota (body, education) University of Minnesota - The home of Gopher.

Address: Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA.

Holland's adviser at the University of Minnesota was John G. Darley, who helped foster a respect for the guidance that could be found in data that became a hallmark of Holland's approach to psychological problems. Despite the skepticism about theory that characterized the faculty at the University of Minnesota, Holland was influenced there by Herbert Feigl Herbert Feigl (December 14, 1902 – June 1, 1988) was an Austrian philosopher and a member of the Vienna Circle.

The son of a weaver, Feigl was born in Reichenberg (Liberec), Bohemia, and matriculated at the University of Vienna in 1922.
 (1956), whose contemporary positivist pos·i·tiv·ism  
1. Philosophy
a. A doctrine contending that sense perceptions are the only admissible basis of human knowledge and precise thought.

 philosophy of science convinced him that data require organization by theory to enable useful interpretation. Later Bill Alston, another philosopher, advised Holland to clarify and simplify his theory when both were at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences The Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences (CASBS) is an American interdisciplinary research body in Stanford, California. The center is dedicated to advancing knowledge about human behavior through research, hereby focusing on the social sciences and humanities.  at Stanford University Stanford University, at Stanford, Calif.; coeducational; chartered 1885, opened 1891 as Leland Stanford Junior Univ. (still the legal name). The original campus was designed by Frederick Law Olmsted. David Starr Jordan was its first president. . Alston's advice proved useful, because the resulting 1973 version of Holland's theory became clear and simple enough that even counselors and psychologists who had not actually read Holland's statement could understand and recite at least fragments of it. Clarity and simplicity are virtues for a practical theory.

Beginning in 1957 when he became director of the National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC NMSC National Merit Scholarship Corporation
NMSC Non-Melanoma Skin Cancer
NMSC National Marine Safety Committee (Australia)
NMSC National Main Street Center
NMSC Non-Metallic Sheathed Cable
), Holland explored and tested his emerging taxonomy of persons and environments using large samples. Because some of Holland's early research on the theory involved the talented samples of young people available to him at NMSC, early critics of his work often suggested that his theory applied only to elite samples. When he became vice president for research and development at the American College Testing Program (ACT), Holland had the opportunity to study large samples of typical, college-bound students. The results helped to stanch stanch 1   also staunch
tr.v. stanched also staunched, stanch·ing also staunch·ing, stanch·es also staunch·es
1. To stop or check the flow of (blood or tears, for example).

 the criticism that the theory applied only to elites. After he arrived at Johns Hopkins University Johns Hopkins University, mainly at Baltimore, Md. Johns Hopkins in 1867 had a group of his associates incorporated as the trustees of a university and a hospital, endowing each with $3.5 million. Daniel C.  (JHU JHU Johns Hopkins University ) in 1969, Holland and his colleagues continued to test and develop the theory using large samples that were even more representative of the general population. During these years at the VA, NMSC, ACT, and JHU, Holland was both influenced by and himself influenced a succession of colleagues who had scientific imagination and skills in data analysis. Among others, these included Alexander W. Astin and James M. Richards, Jr., who shared in research on the assessment and classification of college environments; and Douglas R. Whitney and Nancy S. Cole, who shared in the discovery and provided technical accounts of the hexagonally hex·ag·o·nal  
1. Having six sides.

2. Containing a hexagon or shaped like one.

3. Mineralogy
 ordered arrangements of personality types that became a hallmark of Holland's theory.

Over the years, other colleagues who worked directly with Holland--sometimes briefly and sometimes at a distance--provided him with practical ideas, encouragement, research resources, and social support. Their work was also influenced, in turn, by Holland and his theory. Thomas H. Magoon (who had been a graduate student along with Holland at the University of Minnesota) helped test the SDS in relatively large-scale application and used Holland's theory to organize career services at the University of Maryland University of Maryland can refer to:
  • University of Maryland, College Park, a research-extensive and flagship university; when the term "University of Maryland" is used without any qualification, it generally refers to this school
. Charles F. Elton, W. Bruce Walsh Bruce Walsh (born July 6, 1977) is contemporary American playwright and a prominent Philadelphia fringe artist. His works have received attention due to their unique brand of site-specific theater. , Robert C. Reardon, Joseph A. Johnston, John C. Smart, Jack Rayman, and Arnold Spokane encouraged Holland's efforts, conducted empirical research Noun 1. empirical research - an empirical search for knowledge
inquiry, research, enquiry - a search for knowledge; "their pottery deserves more research than it has received"
, or spread the application of the theory and tools into additional areas. Keith F. Taylor, Geoffrey I. Kelso, and Paul G. Power--all visitors from Australia--provided fresh perspectives and promoted distant applications of Holland's work. David C. Campbell worked with Holland to integrate Holland's theory with Strong's interest inventory and data archive. And Paul M. Muchinsky and Benjamin Schneider helped to integrate Holland's theory with developments in organizational psychology and provided more evidence from organizational settings about P-E transactions.

A time line of selected events that mark the development of Holland's career and his contributions to career counseling in relation to the work environments he occupied is provided in the Appendix.


Chronology of the Career of John Lewis Holland
Year                                   Event

     1942  BA, Municipal University of Omaha (now University of
           Nebraska at Omaha)

1942-1946  Classification Interviewer, Clerk, Psychological Assistant,
           U.S. Army

     1952  PhD, University of Minnesota (Psychology, Educational

1950-1953  Instructor and Director of Counseling Center, Western
           Reserve University

     1953  Occupational classification based on Kuder data published
           in Journal of Applied Psychology

1953-1956  Chief, Vocational Counseling Service, Perry Point VA

1957-1963  Director of Research, National Merit Scholarship Corporation

     1958  First version of Vocational Preference Inventory published
           in Journal of Applied Psychology and by Consulting
           Psychologists Press

     1959  First statement of Holland's theory appeared, Journal of
           Counseling Psychology

     1961  Astin and Holland describe "Environmental Assessment
           Technique" to classify college environments in Journal of
           Educational Psychology

1963-1969  Vice President, Research and Development, American College
           Testing Program

     1966  A classification for occupations and college majors
           published in Journal of Counseling Psychology, and first
           book on the theory (Psychology of Vocational Choice)

1965-1966  Fellow, Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral
           Sciences, Stanford University

     1969  President, Division of Counseling Psychology, American
           Psychological Association

1969-1975  Director, Center for Social Organization of Schools, Johns
           Hopkins University

1969-1977  Professor of Social Relations, Johns Hopkins University

     1970  Self-Directed Search published by Consulting Psychologists

     1973  Major revision of Holland's theory incorporated in Making
           Vocational Choices

     1974  E. K. Strong Gold Medal Award for Contributions to Interest

     1976  Extensions and clarifications of theory published in The
           Counseling Psychologist

1977-1980  Professor of Social Relations and Psychology, Johns Hopkins

     1980  Eminent Career Award, National Vocational Guidance

     1982  First edition of Dictionary of Holland Occupational Codes
           empirically classified all occupations in the Dictionary of
           Occupational Titles

     1985  Major revision of the person-environment theory
           incorporated in second edition of Making Vocational

     1991  Position Classification Inventory (PCI) published, an
           inventory to classify any job

     1994  Award for Distinguished Professional Contributions to
           Knowledge, American Psychological Association

     1994  Career Attitudes and Strategies Inventory published to
           supplement the theory in understanding adult career status

     1995  Extended Research Award, American Counseling Association

     1996  Third edition of Dictionary of Holland Occupational Codes
           incorporates a substantive complexity classification of
           occupations and uses PCI data for some occupations

     1997  Third edition of Making Vocational Choices emphasizes
           vocational identity (persons) and environmental identity

     2008  Award for Distinguished Scientific Applications of
           Psychology, American Psychological Association

The Theory of Vocational Personalities and Work Environments

Holland's (1997) theory of vocational personalities and work environments was developed to describe, understand, and predict the vocational choices people make, including fields of study, occupations and successive jobs, and other choices involving environments. The theory is also intended to account for the differential attraction of environments for certain kinds of people. Although the theory was developed in this vocational context, its applications are broader--including the description, understanding, and prediction of behavior in a variety of settings and the description of many kinds of environments. Entry into and persistence in P-E transactions are the primary outcomes the theory is designed to explain. Holland's theory evolved in response to evidence. The earliest formulation (Holland, 1959) is now primarily of historical interest, as are a number of subsequent revisions. The authoritative current statement is provided in Holland's 1997 book; a brief summary is provided here.

The Main Ideas

The main ideas in Holland's theory are (a) work and other environments differ and can be characterized in terms of a typology of environments, (b) individual differences among people can be characterized in terms of a typology of persons, and (c) some environments are better matched to some individuals and some individuals are better matched to some environments. The following paragraphs outline these theoretical ideas.

Environments. Vocational and other environments can be characterized in terms of their resemblance to six model environments. The actual environments people experience resemble the ideal environments to different degrees, and an environment may be described in terms of the environmental models it most resembles. Environments include occupations or specific jobs, colleges or college majors, clubs, other places, and other people. The six environmental types, described most fully by Gottfredson and Holland (1996), are Realistic, Investigative, Artistic, Social, Enterprising, and Conventional. A specific, experienced environment is expected to make the demands, provide the rewards and opportunities, and encourage the values characteristic of the model environment it most resembles. Specific environments can be characterized by their pattern (i.e., subtype (programming) subtype - If S is a subtype of T then an expression of type S may be used anywhere that one of type T can and an implicit type conversion will be applied to convert it to type T. ) and degrees of resemblance to the six models. The Position Classification Inventory (Gottfredson & Holland, 1991) assesses environments in terms of the theory.

Persons. Individuals can be characterized in terms of their resemblance to six ideal personalities. Each personality type displays distinctive competencies, preferences, values, and self-evaluations. Individual people resemble the six model personalities to different degrees, and a specific person may be described in terms of the personality types he or she most resembles. The six personality types, described most fully by Holland (1997), are Realistic, Investigative, Artistic, Social, Enterprising, and Conventional. The SDS (Holland et al., 1994) assesses persons in terms of Holland's theory.

P-E interaction. A person tends to display the characteristics and pursue the values of the personality type he or she most resembles. For example, a person who resembles the Conventional type is distinguished by a preference for following rules and displaying organizational skills. Similarly, an environment tends to make the demands, reward the competencies, and encourage the values typical of the environmental model it most resembles. For instance, an environment such as a university chemistry department, which will generally most resemble the Investigative environmental model, will demand and reward technical and scientific accomplishments even for individual employees who themselves may not much resemble the skeptical, analytical Investigative personality type. The interaction of these personal dispositions and environmental demands and rewards result in degrees of congruence or incongruence in·con·gru·ent  
1. Not congruent.

2. Incongruous.

in·congru·ence n.
 of person and environment.

Theoretically, environments attract congruent con·gru·ent  
1. Corresponding; congruous.

2. Mathematics
a. Coinciding exactly when superimposed: congruent triangles.

 persons. For instance, a Realistic environment will recruit and hold on to Realistic persons, but it will not attract Social persons. Similarly, persons will prefer congruent environments: A person who resembles the Conventional type will seek and persist in Verb 1. persist in - do something repeatedly and showing no intention to stop; "We continued our research into the cause of the illness"; "The landlord persists in asking us to move"
 Conventional environments because they demand the competencies the person has, foster the person's values or outlooks, and reward the distinctive accomplishments of Conventional persons. In contrast, a person who resembles the Artistic type will avoid environments that resemble the Conventional model.

Secondary Ideas

Levels of congruence and typological resemblance. The degree to which environmental models--and the personality types--are related to other models are represented by a hexagonal arrangement. The personality or environmental models are displayed as a hexagon with the Realistic and Social, Investigative and Enterprising, and Artistic and Conventional types representing opposing vertices The plural of vertex. See vertex. . The types are arranged around the hexagon in RIASEC order of initial letter. For instance, the demands of a Conventional model environment have more in common with those of Realistic and Enterprising model environments than with the demands of an Artistic model environment. Similarly, the Investigative personality type resembles the Realistic and Artistic personality types more than it does the Enterprising personality type, other things being equal. An Investigative personality type in an Investigative model environment is most congruent with the environment, whereas an Artistic personality type in a hexagonally opposed Conventional model environment is very incongruent in·con·gru·ent  
1. Not congruent.

2. Incongruous.

in·congru·ence n.
. Other things being equal, Holland's theory postulates that individuals seek and persist in congruent environments and avoid and leave incongruent environments. Similarly, the theory postulates that environments attract and retain congruent persons, ceteris paribus Ceteris Paribus

Latin phrase that translates approximately to "holding other things constant" and is usually rendered in English as "all other things being equal". In economics and finance, the term is used as a shorthand for indicating the effect of one economic variable on

Level. People differ in their capacity for coping successfully with complex environmental demands; and occupational, educational, and other environments differ in the complexity of the demands they make on those who inhabit them. A level dimension distinguishes both occupational environments and people of the same RIASEC type. Environments (e.g., college majors, occupations) that make substantively complex demands are usually more difficult to attain and succeed in than are less demanding environments. Level of an individual's aspirations, preferences, or capability for coping with complex demands and level of complexity of an environment's demands are important in understanding vocational choices and other vocational behavior. For this reason, the Dictionary of Holland Occupational Codes (Gottfredson & Holland, 1996) provides not only a RIASEC classification for most occupations in the U.S. economy, but also an indicator of the substantive complexity of these occupations.

Identity. A person's vocational identity refers to the clarity or focus of his or her vocational preferences, aspirations, and self-perceptions. An environment's identity refers to the focus and clarity of its demands, goals, and expectations for its inhabitants
:This article is about the video game. For Inhabitants of housing, see Residency
Inhabitants is an independently developed commercial puzzle game created by S+F Software. Details
The game is based loosely on the concepts from SameGame.
. Theoretically, both persons and environments of high identity more clearly display the characteristics of the model or types that each most resembles. That is, an environment of high identity more forcefully exerts the demands and expectations characteristic of its environmental type, and an individual of high identity is more likely to find and persist in satisfying environments and, generally, to have better vocational adjustment. A highly focused environment is more likely to attract and retain satisfactory inhabitants and produce desired outcomes. The Vocational Identity scale (Holland, Gottfredson, & Power, 1980) assesses a person's level of identity, and the Organizational Focus Questionnaire (Gottfredson & Holland, 1997) assesses environmental identity.

Differentiation. Differentiation refers to the extent to which a person or an environment resembles one or two types to the exclusion of other types. A person who shows great resemblance to one of the personality models and does not resemble the other models has a differentiated profile. An environment with no distinctive resemblance to any one environmental type is undifferentiated undifferentiated /un·dif·fer·en·ti·at·ed/ (un-dif?er-en´she-at-ed) anaplastic.

Having no special structure or function; primitive; embryonic.
. Other things being equal, a differentiated environment will produce more predictable outcomes, and the vocational choices of an undifferentiated individual are less predictable. Although differentiation was proposed at an earlier point in the developmental history of Holland's theory than was identity, the identity construct has generally proven to be more powerful than differentiation in empirical tests of the theory.

Other Ideas and Influences

Holland's personal and environmental typologies were developed as a means to understand and predict the many vocational choices people make. In other words Adv. 1. in other words - otherwise stated; "in other words, we are broke"
put differently
, the P-E theory aims to explain educational and occupational choices, career stability, and satisfaction in terms of a few easily communicated explanatory ideas. Despite the success of Holland's typological theory, many influences on people's careers are beyond its scope. For instance, the current sharp downturn in the economy has led many people to lose their jobs, and evolution in the worldwide economy has changed the mix of occupational alternatives available to people. Family responsibilities, romantic entanglements, general mental health, and interpersonal problems with coworkers or supervisors either lead to change or constrain against it. Although people do tend to enter and persist in congruent environments, many people enter, persist in, and may be relatively satisfied in incongruent environments. Moreover, people sometimes become dissatisfied in or leave environments that are congruent with their personalities in RIASEC terms.

Holland and Gottfredson (1994) proposed a set of constructs intended to complement the P-E theory by including influences on vocational stability and change that are outside the scope of the typology. These constructs include family commitments or freedom from such commitments, geographical constraints versus cosmopolitanism, interpersonal abuse in the workplace, career worries, proclivity pro·cliv·i·ty  
n. pl. pro·cliv·i·ties
A natural propensity or inclination; predisposition. See Synonyms at predilection.

[Latin pr
 to take or to avoid risks, dominant or nondominant interpersonal style, general job satisfaction, and various other barriers or career limitations.


In all likelihood, the sketch of Holland's theory and associated assessment and intervention tools we have outlined in this article has touched on aspects of his contributions with which some career practitioners and researchers have only passing acquaintance. Moreover, in this article, we have provided only a brief overview of Holland's theory and its influence on the field of career development, and we have given short shrift short shrift
1. Summary, careless treatment; scant attention: These annoying memos will get short shrift from the boss.

2. Quick work.

 to evidence. For a broader review of Holland's contributions to education, the psychology of talent, and other areas--with more detailed citations to the literature, see the review by Gottfredson (1999) or the entire issue of the Journal of Vocational Behavior (Savickas & Gottfredson, 1999) devoted to Holland's contributions. Holland's (1997) latest book summarized much evidence, but the theory is yet to be fully tested by researchers. Similarly, despite the wide influence of Holland's theory, some of its implications and associated assessment-and-intervention tools have yet to be put to use by practitioners. Textbook summaries and book chapters seldom provide full accounts of the theory and instruments. Reading the original work will profit those who do so.


Campbell, D. P. (1971). Handbook for the Strong Vocational Interest Blank. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.

Campbell, D. P. (1974). SVIB SVIB Space-Variant Interconnect Block , Strong Vocational Interest Blank; Manual for the Strong-Campbell Interest Inventory (T325). Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.

Campbell, D. P., & Holland, J. L. (1972). A merger in vocational interest research: Applying Holland's theory to Strong's data. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 2, 353--376.

Day, S. X, Rounds, J., & Swaney, K. (1998). The structure of vocational interests for diverse racial-ethnic groups. Psychological Science, 9, 40--44.

Feigl, H. (1956). Some major issues and developments in the philosophy of science of logical empiricism logical empiricism
See logical positivism.
. In H. Feigl & M. Striven (Eds.), The foundations of science and the concepts of psychology and psychoanalysis (Vol. 1., pp. 3--37). Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press The University of Minnesota Press is a university press that is part of the University of Minnesota. External link
  • University of Minnesota Press

Gottfredson, G. D. (1999). John Holland's contributions to vocational psychology: A review and evaluation. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 55, 15--40.

Gottfredson, G. D., & Holland, J. L. (1991). Position Classification Inventory. Odessa, PL: Psychological Assessment Resources.

Gottfredson, G. D., & Holland, J. L. (1996). Dictionary of Holland occupational codes (3rd ed.). Odessa, FL: Psychological Assessment Resources.

Gottfredson, G. D., & Holland, J. L. (1997). EIS (1) (Executive Information System) An information system that consolidates and summarizes ongoing transactions within the organization. It provides top management with all the information it requires at all times from internal and external sources.  Organizational Focus Questionnaire. In J. L. Holland, Making vocational choices: A theory of vocational personalities and work environments (3rd ed., pp. 273--275). Odessa, FL: Psychological Assessment Resources.

Harmon, L. W., Hansen, J. C, Borgen, F. H., & Hammer, A. L. (1994). Strong Interest Inventory application and technical guide. Palo Alto Palo Alto, city, California
Palo Alto (păl`ō ăl`tō), city (1990 pop. 55,900), Santa Clara co., W Calif.; inc. 1894. Although primarily residential, Palo Alto has aerospace, electronics, and advanced research industries.
, CA: Consulting Psychologists Press.

Holland, J. L. (1958). A personality inventory employing occupational titles. Journal of Applied Psychology Journal of Applied Psychology is a publication of the APA. It has a high impact factor for its field. It typically publishes high quality empirical papers.

, 42, 336--342.

Holland, J. L. (1959). A theory of vocational choice. Journal of Counseling Psychology Counseling psychology as a psychological specialty facilitates personal and interpersonal functioning across the life span with a focus on emotional, social, vocational, educational, health-related, developmental, and organizational concerns. , 6, 35--45.

Holland, J. L. (1970). The Self-Directed Search for career planning. Palo Alto, CA: Consulting Psychologists Press.

Holland, J. L. (1971). A theory-ridden, computerless, impersonal vocational guidance system. Journal of Vocational Behavior, I, 167--175.

Holland, J. L. (1973). Making vocational choices: A theory of careers. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall Prentice Hall is a leading educational publisher. It is an imprint of Pearson Education, Inc., based in Upper Saddle River, New Jersey, USA. Prentice Hall publishes print and digital content for the 6-12 and higher education market. History
In 1913, law professor Dr.

Holland, J. L. (1974). Vocational guidance for everyone. Educational Researcher, 3, 9--15.

Holland, J. L. (1997). Making vocational choices: A theory of vocational personalities and work environments (3rd ed.). Odessa, FL: Psychological Assessment Resources.

Holland, J. L., Fritzsche, B. A., & Powell, A. B. (1994). The SDS professional technical manual. Odessa, FL: Psychological Assessment Resources.

Holland, J. L., Gottfredson, D. C, & Power, P. G. (1980). Some diagnostic scales for research in decision making and personality: Identity, information, and barriers. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology The Journal of Personality and Social Psychology (often referred to as JPSP) is a monthly psychology journal of the American Psychological Association. It is considered one of the top journals in the fields of social and personality psychology. , 39, 1191--1200.

Holland, J. L., & Gottfredson, G. D. (1994). Career Attitudes and Strategies Inventory: An inventory for understanding adult careers. Odessa, FL: Psychological Assessment Resources.

Kuder, G. F. (1951). Examiner manual for the Kuder Preference Record, vocational, form C (2nd rev.). Chicago: Science Research Associates.

Russell, E. A. (2006). Career activities and world view: Impact of an intervention using the Career Attitudes and Strategies Inventory. Dissertation Abstracts International, 66 (08), 4499B.

Savickas, M. L., & Gottfredson, G. D. (Eds.). (1999). Holland's theory (1959-1999): 40 years of research and application [Special issue]. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 55(1).

U.S. Employment Service. (1949). Dictionary of occupational titles. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office.

Gary D. Gottfredson and Marissa L. Johnstun, both at Department of Counseling and Personnel Services, University of Maryland, College Park The University of Maryland, College Park (also known as UM, UMD, or UMCP) is a public university located in the city of College Park, in Prince George's County, Maryland, just outside Washington, D.C., in the United States. . Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Gary D. Gottfredson, Department of Counseling and Personnel Services, University of Maryland, 3214 Benjamin Building, College Park, MD 20742 (

[C] 2009 by the National Career Develiopment Association. All rights reserved.
COPYRIGHT 2009 National Career Development Association
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2009 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

 Reader Opinion




Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Author:Gottfredson, Gary D.; Johnstun, Marissa L.
Publication:Career Development Quarterly
Date:Dec 1, 2009
Previous Article:Introduction to the commemorative section: John Holland and Kenneth B. Hoyt.
Next Article:Kenneth B. Hoyt--visionary, statesperson, leader, activist.

Related Articles
Theoretical Voices Directing the Career Development Journey: Holland, Harris-Bowlsbey, and Krumboltz.
Emerging career development theories: a test for school counselors.
The Comparative Contributions of Congruence and Social Support in Career Outcomes. (Articles).
The past, present, and future of career counseling in Taiwan.
Integrating perspectives in career development theory and practice. (Articles).
Career theory from an international perspective.
Children's career development: metaphorical images of theory, research, and practice.
Modern and Postmodern Career Theories: The Unnecessary Divorce.
Introduction to the commemorative section: John Holland and Kenneth B. Hoyt.
Practice and research in career counseling and development--2008.

Terms of use | Copyright © 2014 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters