Personality, interests, and self-efficacy: The incremental validity of basic level constructs in discriminating among college majors and occupational aspirations
Although interests, personality, and self-efficacy have long been linked to academic and career choices, many studies examine only one or two constructs at a time and few fully address the multiple determination of academic and career choices. This study builds on previous research by addressing the incremental validity of measuring multiple constructs concurrently, as well as by addressing the incremental validity of basic level constructs. Interests, personality, and self-efficacy can all be measured at multiple levels of specificity, and early research has shown support for the incremental validity of basic level constructs beyond their broad level counterpart. An additional contribution of the present study is the simultaneous measurement of both college major and future occupational aspirations, another comparison rarely made in vocational research. Discriminant function analysis of data from 948 students enrolled at a large Midwestern University resulted in support for the incremental validity of the full model including all three constructs versus any pair of constructs for both college major and occupational aspiration. Clear support was also shown for the incremental validity of basic level constructs for both college major and occupational aspirations, with an additional 20.7% of students correctly classified into their major group and an additional 28% correctly classified into their occupational aspiration group. Implications for counseling and assessment, limitations, and future directions are also discussed.