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Title: An exploratory investigation of personality/expertise explanations for the conduct of vocational guidance interviews and in meeting client expectations
Author: Butler, Terence Brian
ISNI:       0000 0004 2677 1663
Awarding Body: The University of Manchester
Current Institution: University of Manchester
Date of Award: 2009
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The central question being asked of the study concerned personality and expertise individual difference explanations for the behavioural conduct of careers advisers during vocational guidance interviews. The enquiry also had a number of secondary concerns. These were: the consistency and inconsistency of interviewing behaviour across interviews; the significance of situation on that consistency; and the relationship between interview situations and interview duration. The findings make a contribution to a number of theoretical debates concerning the role of personality and expertise in explaining behaviour and also contribute to practical implications for the conduct of interviews. Personality and expertise constitl-lted the predictor variables in regression analyses with behaviour constituting the responsive variable. Additionally interviewing behaviour was treated as being composed of five dimensions. These were characterised as: (a) the interviewer's contribution to interviewing atmosphere; (b) interviewer's style of expressiveness; (c) interviewer's selected means of communication; (d) the interviewer's engagement with the topic; (e) and the interviewer's focus on the interviewee. The identification of distinct components of behaviour enabled supplementary analysis of the central research question to be replicated with the separate formulation for behaviour. Audio-visual recordings of 352 naturally occurring vocational guidance interviews conducted in seven universities were made. The interviews constituted 20úminute dyadic interactions. The methods employed in the study were adaptations of standardised observational procedures. Personality was measured using a standardised self-report personality instrument, Cattell's 16 PF, using both primary and second order factors. Expertise and interviewing behaviour were measured using devised and validated inventories for the specific purpose. Two additional and distinct studies made an assessment of client needs and expectations. A principal components analysis of a survey of 967 potential clients derived four factors, which were portrayed as: information- based needs; reductions in anxiety needs; self-preparation; and readiness for decision-making. A small repertory grid study made analyses of the perceptions of seven clients and produced a matrix of more subjectively determined needs of the vocational guidance process. The results for the central' research question showed that 63% percent of the variance was accounted for by the two predictor variables. However personality was not found to be a significant contributor to the variance in behaviour. Expertise was the dominant determinant of behaviour in the conduct of interviews and constituted most of the explained variance. The extent of the significance of expertise did however vary with the component of behaviour being addressed. Behaviour demonstrated variability across interviewing situations. Expertise was found to result in lower interview duration in more complex interview situations. It was also found to correspond to greater interview duration in less complex situations. These findings correspond to explanations in the literature for how expertise is used for optimum performance. The discussion considered operational, measurement and contextual issues in relation to the findings which were at variance from that which was anticipated by the significance given to the personality individual difference factor in the literature in others areas of activity.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available