Differentialism – Enveronmental Theory – Trait and Factor Theory
John L. Holland 1966
Top for remembering Holland’s theory:
Holland’s theory of six personalities is sometimes called RIASEC, after the first letters of each of the six categories.
John Holland built upon Parson’s theory but focused very much on the personalities of his clients, which he then matched to the perceived requirements for different career paths. To some extent, Holland’s theory is reminiscent of Meyers-Briggs, bringing with it some of the strengths and weaknesses of that model.
Holland developed his theory throughout his life and it’s important to remember that any of the six personalities won’t fit neatly in any career path or vice-versa. Generally, when matching a client to a career path it’s important to look at the dominant of the six personalities. For example, for medical doctor, Realistic will be dominant as this will require a lot of hands on work with applied science to underpin tasks. At the same time, Investigative traits need to be really strong along with Social. Equally, according to the theory, every client or individual will have a mix of all six personalities with one dominant one.
In modern career guidance, it’s the task of the career professional to establish the particular mix of the six personalities within a particular client and then to try and match it to fit in with a particular mix of requirements for any particular career path.
Where do you fit in? If you would like to try this out for yourself – one website I like is https://openpsychometrics.org/tests/RIASEC/