A test of Holland's environment formulations

James B. Rounds, Alexander P. Shubsachs, René V. Dawis, Lloyd H. Lofquist

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


181 occupations, for which reinforcer rating data were available, were classified into the 6 environment models of J. L. Holland (1973). Mean reinforcer scale scores were found to differ significantly among the 6 environments on 17 reinforcer scales, on 12 of which there were significant pairwise differences. Comparison of hypothesized and observed rank orderings of the 6 environments showed significant agreement on 8 reinforcer scales. Comparison of mean score differences between alternating environments with those between opposite or adjacent environments were significantly in the hypothesized direction for 3 reinforcer scales. Multidimensional scaling of the 6 environments using correlation and d-2 as measures of similarity showed the appropriateness of a 2-dimensional solution, with an RCSIAE (Realistic, Conventional, Social, Investigative, Artistic, Enterprising) or REAISC ordering (compared with Holland's postulated RIASEC ordering). Position Analysis Questionnaire mean factor scores for 5 Holland environments were found not to fit a 2-dimensional configuration. It is concluded that these occupational reinforcer and behavioral requriement data provide at best only modest support for Holland's environment formulations. (37 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)609-616
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Applied Psychology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 1978
Externally publishedYes


  • occupational reinforcer rating, classification into 6 environment models of J. L. Holland

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology


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