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Title:Deciphering the general factor in interest measures: response style or attitude
Author(s):Wee, Jian Ming Colin
Advisor(s):Rounds, James
Contributor(s):Drasgow, Fritz
Department / Program:Psychology
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):General Factor
Vocational Interest
Response Style
Dispositional Attitude
Neutral Objects Satisfaction
Abstract:Unrotated factor analyses of interest data have consistently yielded a general factor of interests, an overarching factor with uniformly high loadings across interest subscales and individual items. The theoretical significance of this general factor of interest is still debated. In this paper, we aim to discriminate between two dominant interpretations of the general factor of interest—as either a substantive factor with meaning in the field of personality and interest, or as a measurement artifact which should be disregarded. Across four independent samples, we evaluate these competing interpretations of the general factor. We compare the general factor with broad personality measures that represent a general propensity for ‘liking’ stimuli, as well as an index of acquiescent response styles. More specifically, we test the general factor against measures of dispositional attitudes, neutral objects satisfaction, and acquiescent responding. Our results support the idea that the general factor of interests can be explained more from the standpoint of a general dispositional attitude to respond favorably towards objects and activities, rather than an acquiescence response style or neutral objects satisfaction. The general factor of interests can thus be used to offer insight into an individuals’ personality and is worth reporting in interest assessment results.
Issue Date:2016-11-21
Rights Information:Copyright 2016 Jian Ming Colin Wee
Date Available in IDEALS:2017-03-01
Date Deposited:2016-12

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