Career Decision-Making Difficulties and Career Decidedness: Effects of Personality and Cognitive Style
Jones, Lindsey C
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Researchers have sought to explain individual differences in career decidedness in order to facilitate effective career counselling and interventions. There are established links in the literature between aspects personality and career decision-making difficulties. Additionally, rational and intuitive cognitive styles are thought to be differentially beneficial in decision-making, although their relative benefits are not yet fully understood. This study adds to this existing literature by examining the effects of personality traits on both general and specific career decision-making difficulties and self reported career decidedness. 145 undergraduate students completed the Career Decision-Making Difficulties Questionnaire (CDDQ; Gati & Saka, 2001), the International Item Pool representation of the NEO-PI-R (IPIP-NEO Goldberg, 2001), the revised Rational-Experiential Inventory (revised REI; Pacini & Epstein, 1999) and indicated their career decidedness. Neuroticism was positively correlated, and conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness and rationality were negatively correlated with overall career decision-making difficulties. Conscientiousness was negatively correlated with specific difficulties related to motivation and information about the career decision-making process and neuroticism was positively correlated with difficulties related to lack of readiness, including lack of motivation and dysfunctional beliefs as well as lack of knowledge about the self. Rationality, neuroticism and conscientiousness were statistically significant independent predictors of overall career decision-making difficulties, accounting for 21.6% of the variance. The correlations between personality traits and the specific career decision-making difficulties add value to this as they indicate possible pathways of the relationships between personality traits and decidedness, the mechanisms of which should be explored in future research. Implications for career counselling are discussed.