Advances in the analysis and measurement of vocational interest profiles : A case for the profile-centered perspective

In this dissertation, I pursued two overarching goals. First, in two empirical studies, I demonstrated the advantages of analyzing interest stability and person-environment congruence of trainees in vocational education and training as well as interest similarity within families on the level of interest profiles. I was able to show that both interest profiles and P-E congruence are relatively stable over time and that family members have significantly similar interest profiles over and above gender-normativeness. Second, I conducted two validation studies of a new instrument to assess vocational interests in the sense of the spherical model of vocational interests-a logical extension of the RIASEC model-which uses a more differentiated categorization of the circumplex and introduces a third dimension (Prestige): the Personal Globe Inventory (PGI) and its associated short version (PGI-S). In sum, I found evidence for the instruments' structural, convergent, and criterion based validity, the equivalence of these validity markers across versions, but also some crucial differences between PGI and PGI-S that primarily concern the Prestige dimension. Taken together, this thesis demonstrates challenges, advantages, and potential solutions of a profile-centered perspective on vocational interest research. I was able to shed some new light on central applied questions about vocational interest development in adolescence and presented a new instrument for German interest researchers that makes it possible to reliably and validly assess more elaborate vocational interest profiles.


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