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What is trait and factor theory?
- Refers to the assessment of characteristics of
- the person and the job. It was the first career development theories to be
- described. In general, were developed to analyze traits or characteristics of
- individuals with the intention of matching these traits with qualifications
- required by jobs.
- 1909, Proposed that to select an
- occupation, a person should have the following information
- -1. A clear understanding of
- himself/herself, attitudes, abilities, interests, ambitions, and resource
- limitations; and there causes
- -2. Knowledge of the requirements
- and conditions of success, advantages and disadvantages, compensation,
- opportunities, and prospects for different lines of work.
- -True reasoning in the relations of
- these two groups of facts
- n Tasks
- needed to be performed
- n Physical
- environment of work setting
Trait and Factor Theory
Step 1. Gaining
- When Parsons and early career counselors started to help young people
- choose a career, they had few tests, inventories, or occupational information
- available to them. Relied primarily on interviews and discussions with clients.
(Examples of step 1 is on pg. 38)
- Ability and achievement
- are easily confused, as are the tests hat measure these traits. An achievement
- test is designed to reveal how much an individual has learned; an ability test
- measures maximum performance and reveals the levels of a person’s present
- ability to preform a task; and an aptitude test revels a person’s probable
- future level of ability to preform a task.
-Refers to a broad range of events that individuals participates in and
accomplish during their lifetime. There are three types of achievement. One
academic accomplishment, measured most often by grades, but also by honors and
specific test scores. Second type is accomplishments in work, such as
task completed and supervisor ratings. The third type, and the one that
most easily fits with the trait and factor approach, pertains to tests of
achievement for certification or entry into an occupation.
- Interests have become the most important trait
- used in occupational selection. Occupational entry can be predicted more
- accurately from interest than from aptitude for individuals with many abilities
- who are able to choose from a wide range of occupations.
- Values tend to be
- neglected by many trait and factor counselors. Values present an important but
- difficult concept to measure. Being able to label a value and compare it with
- other values can be useful for the counselor.
- Personality has been
- important measurement of study over the last 80 years. A counselor will be able
- to match the profile to the appropriate occupational pattern.
Step 2. Obtaining knowledge
about the world of work
- This is the second ingredient of trait factor theory. It’s the counselor’s
- role to help gather occupational information.
- Counselor must have knowledge of occupations because they rely solely on
- the counselor.
Types of Occupational
- Description of the
- occupation, the qualification required for entry, the necessary education, the
- working conditions, the salary, and employment outlook.
- Due to high volumes and overwhelming
- information availed to counselors and clients it’s important to have a way of
- organizing it. Classification systems have been made for this task.
Dictionary of Occupational
- (DOT) it uses a
- nine-digit code, classifies 12,000 occupations since 1991 in the United States.
- Include abilities, interests, and work styles.
- Abilities are cognitive such as
- verbal, numerical, perceptual and spatial.
- Include skills that
- are basic, as well as specific knowledge requirements. Also there are
- educational requirements. Basic Skills
- refer to reading comprehension, active listening, writing, speaking, math and
- science. Process Skills include critical
- thinking, active learning, learning strategies and monitoring.
- Describes specific preparation or work
- experience. Also licenses or certificates are used to identify levels of skill
- or performance needed to enter an occupation.
- Presented as a general
- types of work activities, the context of the organization, and the context of
- work. General types of work activities
- include getting information needed to do the job, processing and evaluation
- information, making decisions, solving problems, performing physical and
- technical work, and communicating with others. Organizational contexts refer to the way people do their work.
- characteristics of each occupation terms of skills, knowledge, tasks, duties,
- machines, tools, and equipment.
- Include information
- about the occupation, such as job opportunities and pay.
Trait and Factor Requirements
- Occupational information can be related
- directly to client’s traits. Information about aptitudes, achievements,
- interest, values, and personality is contained in occupational pamphlets and
What a Counselor Needs to Know
- It’s helpful for a counselor to be able to
- decide what he or she must know about occupations.
Step 3: Integrating information about ones self and the world of work
- Compare test and occupational information,
- compare interview occupational information and computer programs such as SIGI
- and DISCOVER, include all three steps.
Applying the Theory to women
- Differences in the abilities, achievements, values, personality, and
- interests of men and women have been a frequent source of study.
- -Some differences in men and women are math and verbal’s where women
- score higher then men.
- - Attention has been given to women in math and science, because women
- are underrepresented in these areas.
- - Personality factors such as confidence and self-esteem have been a
- focus of research that attempts to explain the different levels of
- accomplishment and ability of women compared with men.
- - Lack of self-confidence about career-related activities is not confined
- to math.
- -Women have more interest in artistic, clerical, and social occupations
- than men. They have less interest in scientific and technical occupations.
Applying the Theory to
Culturally Diverse Population
- Research on the interest of culturally diverse
- people has focused mainly on measures of interest. Also focusing on interest and
- work values of different cultural groups.
Trait and Factor Issues
- emphasis on assessment. The test won’t offer to the client the information to
- walk away knowing what they want to do in there profession. Because most
- clients want a “quick fix” they are not determent of a final career choice.
- So deceptively
- simple is that the three basic tenets of the theory provide and overview but do
- not provide many details also the theory does not provide a guide to which
- tests or inventories the counselor should include in has or her repertoire.
- This theory provides less guidance for a counselor. This theory is static,
- rather than a developmental, it does not focus on achievements, aptitudes,
- interest, values, and personality grows and changes: rather, I focus on
- identifying traits and factors.
- problem that counselors may encounter is the difference between their own
- aptitudes, achievements, interests values, and personality and those of the
NCDA Mission Statement
- The National Career Development Association
- (NCDA) is a division of the American Counseling Association (ACA). The mission
- of NCDA is to promote the career development of all people over the life span.
- To achieve this mission, NCDA provides service to the public and professionals
- involved with or interested in career development, including professional
- development activities, publications, research, public information,
- professional standards, advocacy, and recognition for achievement and service.
NCDC Code of Ethics
n - A. The Professional Relationship
- n B. Confidentiality, Privileged Communication,
- and Privacy
n C. Professional Responsibility
n D. Relationships with Other Professionals
n E. Evaluation, Assessment and Interpretation
n F. Use of Internet in Career Services
n G. Supervision, Training, and Teaching
n H. Research and Publication
n I. Resolving Ethical Issues
Counselors respect that clients make their own decisions.
- Counselors do no harm. They do not hurt or
- manipulate clients for their own gain.
Counselor should seek to promote health and well-being.
- Fairness in dealing with clients and other
- Honoring commitments to clients, colleagues,
- and students is the essence of the principle of fidelity.
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