Title

Person-Centered Research in Vocational Psychology: An Overview and Illustration

Document Type

Book Section

Publication Date

1-2-2020

Publication Title

International Handbook of Career Guidance

Publisher

Springer

Edition

2

First page number:

777

Last page number:

795

Abstract

This chapter provides an introduction to person-centered research approaches in vocational psychology with a specific focus on modern latent variable mixture approaches to examining unobserved population heterogeneity. First, we provide a general overview of the concept of unobserved population heterogeneity as a crucial assumption that underlies person-centered analytic approaches and discuss the way in which latent variable mixture models overcome the limitations of traditional person-centered analytic techniques. We then discuss the utility of person-centered strategies in vocational psychology research via the consideration of empirical applications of mixture analyses in the vocational literature. Next, we provide an introduction to one of the more widely-used person-centered approaches—Latent Profile Analysis (LPA)—in vocational psychology, drawing comparisons of these approaches with more traditional person-centered analytic techniques as well as the common factor model. We illustrate the LPA procedure using data on the RIASEC vocational interests, and briefly consider implications of the LPA model for practice. It is our hope that this non-technical introduction to person-centered approaches will trigger further interest in adopting these methods to test crucial assumptions of homogeneity and heterogeneity in sample data typically found in vocational psychology.

Keywords

Latent variable mixture models; Mixture models; Latent profile analysis; Person-centred; Vocational interests; Interest profiles; Heterogeneity

Disciplines

Physical Sciences and Mathematics | Psychology | Social and Behavioral Sciences | Statistical Models | Statistics and Probability

Language

English

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