Utilizing occupational complexity levels in vocational interest assessments: Assessing interests for STEM areas

With an aim to improve vocational interest assessments geared toward the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) areas, we developed a new assessment by incorporating occupational complexity levels. Occupations which correspond to Holland's realistic and investigative themes were identified together with their complexity levels using the information in the Dictionary of Holland Occupational Codes. How the required skills, abilities, and work activities differ in occupations with different complexity levels was identified using the Occupational Information Network. Two studies (N = 691 total) were conducted to assess reliability and validity of a measure of STEM Interest Complexity assessing the level of interests for STEM, which was developed based on the information obtained from these occupation databases. Construct validity was demonstrated with factor analyses and based on associations with traditional interest assessments, cognitive abilities, and theoretically-related constructs. Concurrent criterion-related validity was demonstrated based on associations with attachment to STEM, intentions to persist in and further pursue a STEM field, intentions to choose a complex occupation, college major satisfaction, and STEM-related GPA. Dominance analyses indicated that the relative contribution of the STEM Interest Complexity measure exceeded that of traditional interest assessments in the prediction of criteria. The usefulness of integrating a dimension of level and consulting occupation information databases in developing vocational interest assessments are discussed.


STEM Interest Complexity Inventory Short Form With IRT and DIF Applications
Toker, Yonca; Gültaş, Mehmet (2019-02-01)
The 127-item Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics (STEM) Interest Complexity Inventory and 15-item General STEM Interests Scale, each of which were previously developed to assess interests toward increasingly complex tasks, were shortened to 37-item and 12-item measures. Item response theory analyses employed on the data of 930 students in STEM majors indicated items with higher discrimination parameters and equivalent functioning across genders. The short form (SF) supported a four-factor structur...
Integrating Occupational Complexity Levels to Interest Assessments in Social and Enterprising Areas: Development of the Vertical Social Interest Scale
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With the goal of improving assessment of interests toward social and enterprising areas, we developed the Vertical Social Interest Scale (VSIS) by incorporating vertical differentiation between occupations in terms of authority and communication. Social and enterprising occupations, their complexity levels, and work activities were identified using the information in the Dictionary of Occupational Titles and Occupational Information Network. Three studies (N = 515 total), two of which utilized students and ...
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Toker, Yonca (null; 2013-11-28)
Aim of the present investigation was to delineate gender differences on one specific domain (i.e. symbolic interests) of the vocational interest measure focusing on interests toward the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) areas; STEM Interest Complexity Measure (Toker & Ackerman, 2012). The measure was developed to incorporate STEM-related tasks that vary in their complexity levels to represent a more comprehensive assessment of interests that pertain to Holland’s Realistic and Investigative t...
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Integrating STEM Education: Perceived barriers and facilitators
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The purpose of this research is to uncover obstacles science teachers face regarding integrating STEM in their science course. Data were mainly gathered from 4 experienced science teachers through in depth interviews. They were also requested to draw a picture of their visualization of STEM and they were asked explain their drawings, data were then analyzed by categorizing barriers avoiding STEM integration. Three categories were emerged as teacher-oriented barriers, students-oriented barriers and situation...
Citation Formats
Y. Toker, “Utilizing occupational complexity levels in vocational interest assessments: Assessing interests for STEM areas,” JOURNAL OF VOCATIONAL BEHAVIOR, pp. 524–544, 2012, Accessed: 00, 2020. [Online]. Available: https://hdl.handle.net/11511/33255.