Critique of the Strong Interest Inventory

Critique of the Strong Interest Inventory

Critique of the Strong Interest Inventory






Critique of the Strong Interest Inventory


The Strong Interest Inventory (SII) is a commonly used unique psychological measuring instrument in existence. It is mainly used in vocational counselling. It was first published in 1927, with a newer version in 1994. Both versions bare resemblance in construction and empirical procedures traditionally used in its development. The main goal of any psychological assessment is to assist in solving problem by providing information and recommendations necessary for the most optimal decisions to be made related to a particular client.

The Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) assessment is similar to the strong Interest Inventory, and both provide very reliable information available concerned with career interests, personality, and work environments. Both tools differ in their unique ways in how they help individuals understand both themselves and their career options (Solso, Homer , & Kimberly, 1998).

Purpose and nature of the Test

The Strong Interest Inventory is an interest inventory applied in the assessment of careers. It is also widely applied in educational guidance, and has become the most popular career assessment tool. It was developed by psychologist E. K. Strong to assist people retiring from the military search and find suitable jobs. The modern version was revised by psychologist John L. Holland, and consists of two hundred and ninety one items. Each of these items asks an individual to indicate their preferences from five responses. The test is based on the assessment of interests that makes a great difference from aptitude tests or personality assessments.

The test can be taken within 25 minutes, and the scores calculated by a computer. These results make it possible to define how some interests compare to the interests of people employed successfully in specific jobs. Description of the purpose and nature of the test is an interest inventory for a client to measure his or her interest and interpret the optimal career path. It is targeted to people who want a job change, career change, or assistance with career development opportunities as it provides a solid, dependable guide for clients. The principle purpose is to identify general areas of interest, specific activities, and occupations for further exploration. Other clients who would be interested in taking the test include workers seeking more satisfying work in organisations, students exploring career options, employers seeking to retain the best employees and star staff, and other people in their mid life or elderly planning to retire.

The results of the test includes: scores of the level of interest for each of the six Holland codes or general occupational themes, Scores on thirty basic interest scales such as art, science, and public speaking, Scores on 224 occupational scales that shows the similarity between the respondents interests and those of people employed in each of the 122 occupations, scores of five personal style scales consisting of learning, working, leadership, risk taking, and team orientation. Finally, scores on three administrative scales used to identify test errors or unusual profiles. Strong Interest Inventory is a registered trademark of CPP, Inc of Mountain View, California.

Administration and Evaluation

The evaluation covers the history of the instrument, the current form, content, administration, and evidence of reliability and validity. The people with great interest in the test are human resource practitioners specializing in areas of selection and development, recruitment and selection specialists, managers or consultants who may want to apply ability or aptitude tests within selection and assessment, and coaches wishing to apply ability tests and interest inventories for purposes of career guidance (Russell, 1999).

Strong Interest Inventory is an open access program, that is, no previous experience or knowledge is required provided one goes through a certification program such as Occupational, Ability Programme (OPP) of the British Psychological Society (BPS). This program registers the test users to be able to administer the instrument, and successful delegates are accredited to use ability tests competently and adhering to international standards. These qualifications are suitable and offer enough portfolios in the ability and aptitude tests, which can be targeted to assessment, selection, recruitment, and career guidance (Patten, 2002).

Evaluation can be categorized into practical evaluation, technical evaluation, and summary evaluation. Successful career developments depends one’s ability to conduct an accurate self evaluation. The evaluation of Strong Interest Inventory must consider factors significant to the client (Raymore, Godbey, & Crawford, 1994)

Types of psychological test used

The main types of psychological test used in the articles are the TAT (Thematic Apperception Test). In the articles, the thematic test are used for assessing the personality through a projective technique that focuses on the dominant drives, sentiments, their emotions, complexes as well as the attitudes of employees. It also focuses on the conflicts (Woodside, et al, 2000).

Examinee responding modes

The examinee responding mode is also highlighted in the papers. Most of the examinee responding modes was very high, with many of them scoring the 111A, in the Arithmetic Reasoning (AR), Mathematics Knowledge (MK), Paragraph Comprehension (PC), and Word Knowledge (WK). This is very high response and was likely drawn from very intelligent personnel (Raymore, Godbey, & Crawford, 1994).

Theories in which the test are based

The test was based mainly on the classical test theory and the item response theory as they are the most effective theories for psychological tests

Validity and reliability

The information used in the articles has a very high internal and external validity despite a relatively low reliability scores. For example, the sample groups were highly was hugely randomized and the researcher took appropriate care and diligence shown in the allocation of the controls. The articles meets all the criterion validity and predictive validity, however, there is no concurrent validity based on the facts of the information used. However, the reliability of the results is very low as the research fails to yield concurrent results (Patten, 2002).

Usefulness of this test for your purposes as a future counsellor

The test results are very useful and may be applicable in the near future, however, caution must be taken when suing the results of the research in future, and there are many changes that will have taken place in the field that may have caused a shift in the current benchmarked standards for effectives. This is to say, future uses of the information in the article, must be subjected to rigorous testing and vetting. The failure of the article to meet the reliability status is also another reason for rigorous research. It is also recommended the test results be used in addition to other test results in order for it to be effective


Raymore, L., Godbey, G. and Crawford, D. (1994), ‘‘Self-esteem, gender and socioeconomic status: their relation to perceptions of constraint on leisure among adolescents’’, Journal of Leisure Research, Vol. 26 No. 2, pp. 99-118.

Woodside, A.G., Crouch, G.I., Mazanec, J.A., Oppermannn, M. and Sakai, M.Y. (2000), Consumer Psychology of Tourism, Hospitality, and Leisure, CABI Publishing, New York, NY.

Patten, Mildred L. (2002). Understanding research methods: An Overview of the essentials (3rd ed.). Los Angeles: Pyrczak Publishing.

Schutt, Russell K. (1999). Investigating the social world: the Process and practice of research (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks: Pine Forge Press.

Solso, Robert L., Johnson, Homer H., & Beal, M. Kimberly. (1998). Experimental psychology: a case approach (6th ed.). New York: Longman.