The Multidimensional Model of Career Decision-Making Profile

Itamar Gati, Shiri Landman, Shlomit Davidovitch, Lisa Asulin-Peretz, and Reuma Gadassi

(Journal of Vocational Behavior, 76 (2010), pp. 277-291)


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Previous research on individual differences in career decision-making processes has often focused on classifying individuals into a few types of decision-making styles based on the most dominant trait or characteristic of their approach to the decision process (e.g., rational, intuitive, dependent; Harren, 1979). In this research, an alternative approach, which offers a multidimensional profile characterization of individuals' career decision-making processes based on a simultaneous consideration of dimensions, is presented. Thus, the proposed model refers to career decision-making profiles rather than career decision-making styles. The model, which emerged from a systematic analysis of previous research, was refined on the basis of preliminary empirical tests (5 samples, N=2764) using the Career Decision-Making Profile (CDMP) questionnaire. Study 1 reports the psychometric properties and the results of an exploratory factor analysis of the CDMP questionnaire, in a sample of young adults deliberating their career decisions (N=285). Study 2 presents the results of a confirmatory factor analysis, based on Israeli (N=431) and US (N=208) samples of young adults. The results of both studies supported the hypothesized dimensions. The implications for future research and for counseling are discussed.



The dimensions that are proposed for cdm profile, with their defining poles, are as follows:
IG - Information gathering (comprehensive vs. minimal) – the degree to which individuals are meticulous and thorough in collecting and organizing information.
IP - Information processing (analytic vs. holistic) – the degree to which individuals analyze information into its components and process the information according to these components.
LC - Locus of control (internal vs. external) – the degree to which individuals believe they control their occupational future and feel their decisions affect their career opportunities.
EI - Effort invested in the process (much vs. little) – the amount of time and mental effort the individual invests in the decision-making process.
PR - Procrastination (high vs. low) – the degree to which the individual avoids or delays beginning and advancing through the career decision-making process.
SP - Speed of making the final decision (fast vs. slow) – the length of time individuals need to make their final decision once the information has been collected and compiled.
CO - Consulting with others (frequent vs. rare) – the extent to which the individual consults with others during the different stages of the decision process.
DO - Dependence on others (high vs. low) – the degree to which individuals accept full responsibility for making their decision (even if they consult with others), as opposed to expecting others to make the decision for them.
DP - Desire to please others (high vs. low) – the degree to which the individual attempts to satisfy the expectations of significant others (e.g., parents, partner, friends).
AI – Aspiration for an "ideal occupation" (high vs. low) – the extent to which individuals strive for an occupation that is perfect for them.
WC - Willingness to compromise (high vs. low) – the extent to which individuals are willing to be flexible about their preferred alternative when they encounter difficulties in actualizing it.
IN - Use of intuition (little vs. much) - the degree to which individuals rely on internal (gut) feelings when making a decision.

In addition to the 36 items representing the dimensions, the CDMP includes:

  • One “warm-up” item: "I am concerned about choosing a major or an occupation".
  • Two validity items aimed at ensuring that individuals reply only after properly reading the items and considering their responses. The validity items are: "I try to choose the option that is best for me" and "It makes no difference to me what career I will have in the future".
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