Contextualizing Interest Scales With Emojis: Implications for Measurement and Validity

Wei Ming Jonathan Phan, Rachel Amrhein, James Rounds, Phil Lewis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The affective nature of emojis makes them suited for anchoring scales to measure the affective preferences of vocational interest. In Study 1, we conducted a content analysis to identify the five images that best represent a bipolar continuum from strongly like to strongly dislike. In Study 2, we compared the psychometric properties of traditional lexical anchors to those of the emoji anchors identified in Study 1 and tested the predictive validity of emoji-anchored scales. Results show emoji-anchored scales possess similar psychometric properties as lexical-anchored scales. Importantly, the interest-fit using contextualized emoji scales predicts job satisfaction better compared to lexical scales (remoji (226) =.41 versus rlexical (226) =.13). Overall, this article (1) provides researchers with a validated public-domain emoji anchors, (2) demonstrates that emoji anchors possess the same the robust psychometric properties as lexical anchors, and (3) illustrates how emoji-anchored scales can be potentially better for measuring vocational interests.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)114-133
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Career Assessment
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1 2019


  • anchors
  • and measurement
  • emojis
  • job satisfaction
  • vocational interest

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


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