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Facilitating Career Decision-Making. Itamar Gati The Hebrew University of Jerusalem. In this presentation, I will. Discuss the decision-theory viewpoint Present the PIC 3-stage cdm model Introduce the CDDQ Describe the CDSQ – cdm style

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Facilitating career decision making

Facilitating Career Decision-Making

Itamar Gati

The Hebrew University of Jerusalem

In this presentation i will
In this presentation, I will

  • Discuss the decision-theory viewpoint

  • Present the PIC 3-stage cdmmodel

  • Introduce the CDDQ

  • Describe the CDSQ – cdm style

  • Demonstrate MBCD - Making Better Career Decisions

  • Review research and demonstrate applications

  • Highlight the unique features of our approach

Unique features of career decisions
Unique features of career decisions

  • Quantity of Information:Often large N of alternatives and factors, within-occupation variance  information is practically unlimited

  • Quality of Information:soft, subjective, fuzzy, inaccurate, biased

  • Uncertainty about:the individual’s future preferences, future career options, unpredictable changes and opportunities, probability of implementing choice

  • Non-cognitive Factors:emotional and personality-related factors, necessity for compromise, actual or perceived social barriers and biases

From decision theory to career counseling practice
From decision theory to career counseling practice

  • Many factors contribute to the complexity and difficulties involved in career decision-making

    The basic claim:

  • Career counseling may be viewed as decision counseling, which aims at facilitating the clients' decision-making process, and promotes better career decisions

If so evident why was decision theory not adopted until recently
If so evident, why was decision-theory not adopted until recently?


  • Normative decision theory (how individuals should make decisions) is –

    • too rational

    • too arbitrary

    • too quantitative

    • exceeds human’s information-processing capability

  • Descriptive decision theory (how individualsactually make decisions) is not helpful either – it mainly documents human weakness

    • heuristics, biases, and fallacies

    • limited information-processing capabilities

The proposed approach
The Proposed Approach recently? –

  • By adopting decision theory and adapting it to the unique features of career decisions, theoretical knowledge can be translated into practical interventions to facilitate individuals’ career choices

  • Specifically, we suggest focusing on a prescriptive approach, and designing systematic procedures that can help individuals make better career decisions (not necessarily rational ones!)

The first stage in helping clients is needs assessment
The first stage in helping clients is recently?needs assessment:

The 3 components of needs assessment are:

  • the individual’s stage in the cdm process(“where”)

  • the focuses of the individual’s cdmdifficulties (“what”)

  • the individual’s cdmstyle (“who”)

I stages in the career decision making process
I recently? - Stages in the career decision-making process

The PIC model (Gati & Asher, 2001)

separates the career decision-making process into 3 distinct stages:

- Prescreening

- In-depth exploration

- Choice

Prescreening recently?

  • Goal: Locating a small set (about 7) of promising alternatives that deserve further, in-depth exploration

  • Method: Sequential Elimination

    • Locate and prioritize relevant aspects or factors

    • Explicate within-aspect preferences

    • Eliminate incompatible alternatives

    • Check list of promising alternatives

  • Outcome: A list of verified promising alternatives worth further, in-depth exploration

A schematic presentation of the sequential elimination process within aspects across alternatives
A Schematic Presentation of the recently?Sequential Elimination Process (within-aspects, across-alternatives)

Potential Alternatives


a (most


b (second in





1 2 3 4 . . . . N

Promising Alternatives

Final step sensitivity analysis
Final step - Sensitivity Analysis recently?

The Goal:

Verifying the adequacy of the promising list

The Method:

  • An alternative (compensatory-model-based) search

  • “why not”

  • “almost compatible”

  • “what if”

  • “similar alternatives”

In depth exploration
In-depth exploration recently?

  • Goal: Locating alternatives that are not only promising but indeed suitable for the individual

  • Method: collecting additional information, focusing on one promising alternative at a time:

    • Is the occupation INDEED suitable for me?

      • verifying compatibility with one’s preferences in the most important aspects

      • considering compatibility within the less important aspects

    • Am I suitable for the occupation?

      • probability of actualization: previous studies, grades, achievements

      • fit with the core aspects of the occupation

  • Outcome: A few most suitable alternatives (about 3-4)

A schematic presentation of the in depth exploration stage within alternative across aspects
A Schematic Presentation of the recently?In-depth Exploration Stage(within-alternative, across aspects)

Promising Alternatives

1 2 3 4 5 6




Suitable Alternatives

Choice recently?

  • Goal: Choosing the most suitable alternative, and rank-ordering additional, second-best alternatives

  • Method:

    • comparing and evaluating the suitable alternatives

    • pinpointing the most suitable one

      • Am I likely to activate it?

        • if not - selecting second-best alternative(s)

        • if yes - Am I confident in my choice?

          • if not: Return to In-depth exploration stage

          • if yes: Done!

  • Outcome: The best alternative or a rank-order of the best alternatives

Ii career decision making difficulties
II - recently?Career Decision-Making Difficulties

  • One of the first steps in helping individuals make a career decision is locating the focuses of the difficulties they face in the decision-making process

  • Relying on decision theory, Gati, Krausz, and Osipow (1996) proposed a taxonomy for describing career decision-making difficulties

Possible focuses of career decision making difficulties gati krausz osipow 1996

During the Process recently?

Prior to Engaging in the Process

Lack of Readinessdue to

InconsistentInformationdue to

Lack of Informationabout

Lack of motivation







Unreliable Info.

Internal conflicts


Ways of obtaining info.

Possible Focuses of Career Decision-Making Difficulties (Gati, Krausz, & Osipow, 1996)

The career decision making difficulties questionnaire cddq
The Career Decision-making recently?Difficulties Questionnaire (CDDQ)

  • The Career Decision-making Difficulties Questionnaire (CDDQ) was developed to test this taxonomy and serve as a means for assessing individuals’ career decision-making difficulties

  • Cronbach Alpha internal consistency estimate of the total CDDQscore is high (above .90)

  • The proposed structure was empirically supported (N=10,000)

  • For additional information – see www.cddq.org--- the CDDQ is offered free of charge ---

Www cddq org
www.cddq.org recently?

The four stages of interpretation
The Four Stages of Interpretation recently?

  • Ascertaining Credibility,using validityitems and the time required to fill out the questionnaire

  • Estimating Differentiationbased on the standard deviation of the 10 difficulty-scale scores

  • Locating thesalient,moderate, or negligibledifficulties,based onthe individual's absolute and relative scale scores

  • Determiningthe confidence in the feedback andthe need to addreservationsto it (based on doubtful credibility, partial differentiation, or low informativeness)

The 4 stages of interpretation
The 4 Stages of Interpretation recently?


Not Credible





Estimating Differentiation






Locate Salient



Reasons to Add Reservation (RAR)

Compute Informativeness

(B /W )

B/W < 1

RAR = 3

B/W > 1

RAR ≤ 2

Add Reservation

to Feedback

Receives Feedback

No Feedback


Four studies for validating the proposed interpretation
Four Studies recently? -for validating the proposed interpretation


  • Participants: 15-30 career counselors and 25-80 graduate counseling students

  • Questionnaires – including CDDQ responses:

    - in Study 1 and 4 – all possible responses;

    - in Studies 2 and 3 – responses of 16 actual clients

  • Results:

    • High similarity within-groups as well as between counselors’ and students’ judgments High similarity between the experts’ judgments and the proposed algorithm at each stage

  • Conclusions
    Conclusions recently?

    • The incorporation of an intermediate level of discriminationincreases the usefulness of the feedback and decreases the chances and implications of potential errors

    • Addingreservationswhen appropriate is essential for providing a meaningful feedback and decreasing the chances of misleading conclusions

    Iii career decision making styles
    III recently? – Career Decision-MakingStyles

    • Diagnosing the client’s career decision-making style is important in order to “tailor” the career-counseling intervention to his or her unique characteristics

    • Previous research often did not take into consideration the complexity and variety of aspects related to the decision process, and classified decision-styles based only on a single, most dominant characteristic (e.g., rational vs. intuitive)

    Goals recently?

    • Developing a multidimensional model for describing career decision-making styles

    • Developing the Career Decision-making Styles Questionnaire (CDSQ) for testing the model and enabling a more accurate assessment of individuals’ career decision-making styles

    • Empirically deriving a typology of the CDSQ profiles from a large sample of individuals

    Derivation of the 11 dimensions
    Derivation of the 11 Dimensions recently?

    • Comparing the most common 12 prototypes deduced from previous research to uncover the various characteristics differentiating among them

    • From this list we derived 11 basic dimensions relevant for characterizing individuals' cdm styles. On each dimension, individuals can be characterized along a continuum of a bipolar scale: e.g., on the dimension pattern of information processing individuals can be characterized from "analytical" to "holistic"; desire to please others – "high" to "low"

    The 11 proposed dimensions
    The 11 Proposed Dimensions recently?

    • Information processing (analytic vs. holistic)

    • Information gathering (much vs. little)

    • Amount of effort invested in the process (much vs. little)

    • Consultation with others (frequent vs. rare)

    • Aspiration for an "ideal occupation" (high vs. low)

    • Willingness to compromise (high vs. low)

    • Locus of control (internal vs. external)

    • Procrastination in entering the process (high vs. low)

    • Speed of making the final decision (fast vs. slow)

    • Dependence on others (high vs. low)

    • Desire to please others (high vs. low)

    The career decision making style questionnaire cdsq
    The Career-Decision-making Style Questionnaire ( recently?CDSQ)

    • 44 statements (4 items x 11 dimensions)

    • Response scale: 1 – Strongly disagree to7 –Strongly agree

    • The CDSQ is embedded in career-related self-help Internet sites Future Directions (Hebrew), CDDQ.ORG (English)

    • 3 Development samples (N=230, 404, 411)

    • Fourth sample - 479 subjects

    Results items
    Results – recently?(Items)

    Scale Reliabilities:

    • median - .80, range .73 – .85

      Factor analysis:

    • 10 factors

    • Accounted-for Variance = .65

    • 2 dimensions were included in one factor(Speed of making the final decision; Procrastination)

    • Two items loaded higher on a “neighbor factor” (Information-processing; effort invested)

      Cluster analysis:

    • Accounted-for Variance = .81

    • Items of 7 dimension clustered perfectly (4/4)4 dimension – 3/4 items

    Conclusions implications
    Conclusions & Implications recently?

    • The proposed and tested 11 dimensions can be used to characterize individuals' career decision-making styles

    • Using the CDSQ, homogeneous groups of clients with similar career decision-making styles can be empirically identified

    • The CDSQ allows a more accurate assessment of the counselees' career decision-making styles, thus better “tailoring” the intervention to the individual

    • The CDSQ allows individuals to learn about their career decision-making style, and thus to consider adopting more desirable strategies

    So far i reviewed
    So far, I reviewed recently?

    3 components of client’s needs assessment:

    • The individual’s stage in the cdm process (“Where”)

    • The focuses of the individual’s cdm difficulties (“What”)

    • The individual’s cdm style (“Who”)

      So, what’s next?

    • Some demonstrations of how can the decision-making approach be implemented in order to actually facilitate clients’ cdm

    • Specifically, recently?if career decision-making requires collectinga vast amount of information, and if complex information-processing is needed,

    • we must then utilize the best available resource:

      Career counselors’ expert knowledge, that canbe elicited and transformed into Information and Communication Technology-based systems

    • Indeed,- The computer-assisted career guidance systems, based on a decision-theory model, can help overcome human’s cognitive limitations

      - There are several computer-assisted career guidance systems available today on the Internet

    Mbcd making better career decisions
    MBCD recently?Making Better Career Decisions

    MBCD is an Internet-based career planning system that is a unique combination of

    • a career-information system

    • a decision-making support system

    • an expert system

      Based on the rationale of the PIC model, MBCDisdesigned to help deliberating individuals make better career decisions

    Making better career decisions http mbcd intocareers org
    Making Better Career Decisions recently?http://mbcd.intocareers.org

    However, recently?

    Although Internet-based, career-related self-help sites are flourishing, these sites vary greatly in quality


    it is very important to investigate the utility and validity of these self-help programs

    So m aking b etter c areer d ecisions
    So, recently?MakingBetterCareerDecisions

    Does it really work?

    Criteria for Testing the Benefits of recently?Making Better Career Decisions

    • Examine users' perceptions of MBCD

    • Examine changes in user’s decision status

    • Examine perceived benefits

    • Locate factors that contribute to these variables

    Mbcd s effect cohen s d on reducing career decision making difficulties gati saka krausz 2003
    MBCD’s recently?Effect (Cohen’s d)on Reducing Career Decision-Making Difficulties(Gati, Saka, & Krausz, 2003)

    Decision status before and after the dialogue with mbcd

    After the dialogue recently?

    Before the dialogue






    1- no direction






    2 - only a general







    3 - considering a few specific alternatives






    4 - would like to examine

    additional alternatives






    5 - would like to collect

    information about a

    specific occupation






    6 - sure which

    occupation to choose






    Decision StatusBefore and After the “Dialogue” with MBCD

    Predictive validity of mbcd gati gadassi shemesh 2006
    Predictive Validity of recently?MBCD (Gati, Gadassi, & Shemesh, 2006)

    • Design: Comparing the Occupational Choice Satisfaction (OCS) of two groups six years after using MBCD and getting a list of occupations recommended for further exploration:

      • those whose present occupation wasincluded in MBCD’s recommended list (44%)

      • those whose present occupation wasnot included in MBCD’s recommended list (56%)

    Method recently?

    • Participants

      • The original sample included 123 clients who used MBCD in 1997, as part of their counseling at the Hadassah Career-Counseling Institute

      • Out of the 73 that were located after six+ years, 70 agreed to participate in the follow-up: 44 women (64%) and 26 men (36%),aged 23 to 51 (mean = 28.4, SD = 5.03)

    Frequencies of Occupational Choice Satisfaction recently?by “Acceptance” and “Rejection” of MBCD's Recommendations(Gati, Gadassi, & Shemesh, 2006)

    Gender Differences in recently?Directly Elicited and Indirectly Derived Preferred Occupations

    (279 Women + 79 Men, Mean Age=23;Gadassi & Gati, 2008)

    Summary of major findings
    Summary of Major Findings recently?

    • PICis compatible with people’s intuitive ways of making decisions (Gati & Tikotzki, 1989)

    • Most users report progress in the career decision-making process (Gati, Kleiman, Saka, & Zakai, 2003)

      • Satisfaction was also reported among those who did not progress in the process

      • Users are “goal-directed” – the closer they are to making a decision, the more satisfied they are with MBCD

    • The list of “recommended” occupations are less influenced by gender stereotypes (Gadassi & Gati, 2008)

    In conclusion features of our approach
    In Conclusion recently?– Features of our Approach

    • Prescreening is essential when the number of potential alternatives is large

    • Instead of focusing on occupations (alternatives) we suggest to focus on aspects

    • Instead of a “snap-shot” assessments of vocational interests (e.g., the 3-highest RIASEC Holland’s code), use for prescreening a wide range of factors elicited by a dynamic, interactive process

    In conclusion features of our approach cont
    In Conclusion recently?– Features of our Approach (cont.)

    • From the viewpoint of the individual, this enables: - Differentiating between relative importance of factors, the optimal level, and the willingness to compromise- Assessing the individual’s preference crystallization (does s/he knows what s/he is looking for?)

    • With respect to occupations, this enables:- Characterizing occupations in terms of a range of levels, representing the within-occupation variance - Highlighting the essence of the occupation (using the core aspects)

    We believe that
    We believe that . . . recently?

    • Computers can and should be used not only for scoring, but also for monitoring a dynamic interaction, and providing flexible interpretations

    • Experts’ knowledge can and should be elicited and transformed to design and improve interpretive feedbacks on assessments

    • Career choices are the outcome of decision-making processes; therefore, career counseling is, in fact, decision counseling

    • The goal should be promoting a systematic decision making process – not a rational one

    Finally we also believe that
    Finally, we also believe that . . . recently?

    • Career-related assessments can be transformed into user-friendly Internet-based systems, which can also be incorporated into counseling interventions

    • Interpretive feedback is important but has to be “tailored” and validated

    • Theory-based interventions should always be tested for empirically validity as well as practical effectiveness

    end recently?


    Previous research
    Previous Research recently?

    1. 39 labels used for describing decision-making styles were located

    2. In light of the high resemblance among some of them (e.g., logical [Arroba, 1977], rational [Harren, 1979], active-planning [Jepsen, 1974], systematic [Johnson, 1978]), these 39 types were narrowed down to 12 prototypes :

    rational, perfectionist, procrastinator, searching for tools, satisfying, hesitant, impulsive, fatalist, intuitive, dependent, rebellious, and pleasing.

    Alternative explanations to mh were not supported
    Alternative Explanations recently?[to MH] – were not supported

    • Differences in the lengths of the lists

      No difference was found in the OCS between clients whose list included 15 or fewer occupations and clients whose list included more than 15 occupations

    • Clients who accepted MBCD’s recommendations are more compliant, and therefore more inclined to report a high level of satisfaction

      However, following the compensatory-model-based recommendations did not contribute to the OCS

    Steps in sequential elimination
    Steps in Sequential Elimination recently?

    Locating and prioritizing aspects or factors

    Explicating within-factor preferences in the most important factor not yet considered

    • Eliminating incompatible alternatives


    • Too many promising alternatives?


    • This is the recommended list of occupations

    • worth further, in-depth exploration