Integrating abilities and interests in career choice: Maximal versus typical assessment

Maria Darcy, Terence Tracey

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

47 Scopus citations


The present article focuses on ways in which structural information from the ability and interest domains can be usefully integrated to inform career development and choice processes as well as allied research. Examining the structural models in these two domains, in addition to the distinction between maximal and typical assessment, the authors suggest that self-assessments of ability/self-efficacy have greater utility than assessments of maximal ability for informing career exploration and choice. Given this, they note several ways that self-ratings of ability can be integrated with interest information in clinical settings. In the second section, they focus on the definition of the general factor in vocational interest data. The authors hypothesize that this factor can be interpreted as interest flexibility and is particularly salient as a moderator in the person-environment fit - career outcome relation. They then propose a number of testable hypotheses relevant to this relation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)219-237
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Career Assessment
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 2003


  • Interest flexibility
  • Maximal ability
  • Self-rated abilities
  • Typical ability
  • Vocational interests

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology
  • General Psychology
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management


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