Personality and vocational interests in an adult sample

Paul T. Costa, Robert R. McCrae, John L. Holland

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Examined the relations between vocational typology developed by the 3rd author (1966, 1973) and the neuroticism-extraversion-openness (NEO) model of personality presented by the 1st 2 authors (1980) among 217 males and 144 females, aged 21-89 yrs. Young and old adult groups were similar to college students in most vocational interests, and the same pattern of sex differences was found. Correlations between Self-Directed Search and NEO inventory scores showed strong associations of investigative and artistic interests with openness to experience, and of social and enterprising interests with extraversion. Ss interested primarily in conventional occupations tended to be closed to experience. These associations were generally confirmed when spouse ratings were used as a non-self-report measure of personality traits in a subset of the Ss. The NEO Inventory complements the Holland typology, primarily in providing measures of neuroticsm. Research on the possible utility of supplementing vocational interest data with personality measures is suggested, and some implications for vocational counseling among older adults are discussed. (42 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)390-400
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Applied Psychology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 1 1984


  • neuroticism & extraversion & openness, vocational interests, 21-89 yr olds

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology


Dive into the research topics of 'Personality and vocational interests in an adult sample'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this