Effects of Gender, Construct Type, Occupational Information, and Career Relevance on Vocational Differentiation

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This study was designed to replicate and extend previous research on 1 aspect of vocational structure, vocational differentiation. Results of a 2 (gender) × 2 (occupational information) × 2 (construct type) × 3 (career relevance) between Ss study revealed 2 sets of noteworthy findings. First, results replicated previous findings concerning the impact of each of these factors on levels of vocational differentiation. Higher levels of vocational differentiation were found in men than were found in women and were related to the use of personal constructs when Ss judged highly irrelevant career alternatives. Second, these effects were qualified by an interaction between construct type (personal and provided) and career relevance (high, mixed, and low). Personally elicited constructs were used with greater differentiation than were standard provided ones only when participants evaluated highly relevant career alternatives. This effect challenges longstanding assumptions regarding differences between personal and provided vocational construct, and the implications of this are discussed.

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