Article summaries for Perspective on Career Planning (POCP) 20/21

Summaries with 15 articles for the course Perspective on Career Planning (POCP) at the University of Leiden (2020/2021)

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Planned happenstance: Constructing unexpected career opportunities - Mitchell, Levin, & Krumboltz - 1999 - Article

Planned happenstance: Constructing unexpected career opportunities - Mitchell, Levin, & Krumboltz - 1999 - Article

How many career choices are made because of chance?

Traditionally, career counselors do not take chance into account when advising clients. The goal of this research is to find out how chance events play a role in everyone's career. Career counselors can learn their client how to act to generate more chances to capitalize. A lot of events happened, in which a client plays an important role, like the friends he/she made, the study he/she chose. 


How many career choices are made because of chance?

Traditionally, career counselors do not take chance into account when advising clients. The goal of this research is to find out how chance events play a role in everyone's career. Career counselors can learn their client how to act to generate more chances to capitalize. A lot of events happened, in which a client plays an important role, like the friends he/she made, the study he/she chose. 

What is the role of chance in career counseling? 

Chance plays an important role in everyone’s career, the future can not be predicted. Unpredictable events almost always have an influence in career directions. Yet career counselors rarely take unexpected events in account with their client. However, literature have recognized that chance does effect career exploration.   

Some people believe that it is complex and hard to create a model, where the chance events are incorporated. However, Cabral and Salomone (1990) said that a counselor should help the client to recognize the effects of unexpected events and to help them cope and anticipate to those events. Scott and Hatalla (1990) concluded that chance contributes to the choices people make, but that they do not have a predictable relation. The most important chance factor they found was the unexpected personal events. Miller (1983) stated that counselors would benefit when they would see chance as a normal aspect of career planning. Cabral and Salomone called for a model of career planning which combines planning and chance. Rational planning only works when the career would follow a simple, straight path, but with future technology it doesn't.  

Frank Parson is credited as the father of career counseling, he created a theory in a largely agricultural society. He tried to match a client to the appropriate job. Chance was not included in this theory, he used true reasoning as basis of matching. The traditional approach tries to minimise the role of chance by matching interests, skills and values to the matching career. Counselors need to admit that we are not only the result of rational planning. 

What is the Planned Happenstance Theory? 

The Planned Happenstance theory expanded the social learning theory of career decision making. The basics are the same. People are born with different characteristics at a certain time and place, not of their own decision. In their environment while growing up, they experience all kinds of unpredictable events from which they will learn, both positive and negative. People can maximize their learning process by profiting from these events. The planned happenstance theory is the conceptual framework which allows to incorporate the chance events into a career development. Clients should plan and create opportunities and be open to the changes. People have to learn to take action, to generate the changes to learn and they should not only be passively waiting for events to happen. 

How can you reframe indecision as open-mindedness?

In the Planned Happenstance Theory, the term indecision is replaced by open-minded. Blustein (1997) suggested counselors to help clients to explore and to accept ambiguity. Exploring is an open way of relating to the world. The chances make individuals grow and help them to self-define. Blustein makes a difference between passive people who rely on luck and people who actively search for new and unexpected opportunities. A counselor needs to help a client create positive events, which can help a client to end up where they want to be, even though it may not be what they requested. 

What are the advantages of open-mindedness? 

Counselors have not been trained to be comfortable with an indecisive client. They try to treat any form of uncertainty. Sometimes this may work, but sometimes they do not need a quick fix. Krumboltz (1992) argued that indecision is more sensible then making commitments when the future is uncertain. An open-minded person is in the middle of what was and what will be and is able to ask questions, without needing to know the answer. He can be curious.  

How can you generate, recognize and encourage beneficial chance events? 

Gelatt (1989) proposed that being uncertain about goals and wants, leads to new discoveries. Betsworth and Hansen (1996) found in a study that two thirds believed that their careers were significantly influenced by chance events. They identified 11 categories of serendipitous events that participants reported as significant to their career development. “Professional or personal connections,” “unexpected advancement,” and “right place/right time” were cited most frequently. Participants overlooked the steps they took to get to know important people and the actions they undertook to get a promotion at the right time.

The Planned Happenstance theory includes two concepts: Exploration generates chance opportunities for increasing quality of life and skills enable people to seize opportunities. Blustein (1997) concluded that people explore to express their natural curiosity and that the benefits of career exploration, can cross over into other life domains. Austin (1978) perceived that responses to chance opportunities depend on one’s preparedness and receptivity to possibilities. Salomone and Slaney (1981) added that for career possibilities to be realized, people must take action.

The Planned Happenstance theory proposes that career counselors assist clients to develop five skills

  1. Curiosity: exploring new learning opportunities

  2. Persistence: exerting effort despite setbacks

  3. Flexibility: changing attitudes and circumstances

  4. Optimism: viewing new opportunities as possible and attainable

  5. Risk Taking: taking action in the face of uncertain outcomes

Bandura (1982) recommended teaching entry skills as a way of influencing or controlling chance to one’s advantage. Entry skills are interpersonal communications, networking, and social support building. Planned happenstance can also be facilitated by using assessment instruments to generate chance events. The Planned Happenstance Model has a interest test interpretation, which consists of questions that invite discussion between client and counselor. Engaging a client in discussing both prior and potential interests can reveal vital values and liberate client exploration.

How can we encourage a client? 

We learn the skill of self-encouragement from someone who has encouraged us to take action on our own behalf. Significant factors that enable people to integrate talents and traits in their life, are the role of witness (Young and Rodgers, 1997) and persistence and risk taking (Scott Adams, 1997). A witness is a person who observes a talent and encourages to develop that talent. Scott Adams is the creator of the popular cartoon Dilbert. Adams was persistent and optimistic even though he had been rejected. He took a risk and submitted his work again even though he had no guarantee that his cartoon strip would be accepted.

Learning as the Purpose of Career Counseling

Career counselors should be educators/—facilitators of the learning process (Krumboltz, 1996). Clients often expect counselors to match them up with ideal jobs, counselors fail to challenge the assumption that career counselors can meet that request. Instead of striving to help clients identify their one “ideal job,” career counselors may be of far more value to clients by teaching them how to enhance the quality of their lives. Counselors must equip clients with new attitudes and skills to embrace the twenty-first century. Savickas (1997) called that adaptability”; “the readiness to cope with the predictable tasks of preparing for and participating in the work role and with the unpredictable adjustments prompted by changes in work and working conditions.

How can we reconseptualise informational interviews? 

Informational interviews are traditionally to facilitate information gathering. The client has to ask prepared questions to someone involved in an area the client is interested in. Informational interviews can also be used to generate unexpected events. The planning part of the informational interview is identifying the field of interest, finding a person to interview, and preparing pertinent questions. The happenstance part of the informational interview can occur at any time before, during, or after the interview. The career counselor can prepare the client for unanticipated events. Cognitive restructuring is a counseling technique for helping clients interpret events in an alternative way, by practicing on past and current events and anticipating for possible future events.

How can we overcome obstacles?

Counseling by itself is of little value unless it leads to constructive action. A counselor needs to concentrate on enabling clients to take the necessary actions. The Career Beliefs Inventory (Krumboltz, 1991) provides one tool for assessing blocking beliefs and initiating discussions of ways to examine them. A counselor can help a client to reframe a goal in such way that the progress toward the goal becomes possible. An example: Stated Goal: I want to change jobs; I am going to start sending out résumés. Reframe: I am getting more and more dissatisfied with my job. What are the steps I can take to begin to look at other options?

What does the counselor need to do according to the Planned Happenstance Theory?  

A. Watts (1996) said that at each of these points where we make a decision, a counselor should be available, to prevent decisions from beïng reactive instead of proactive. People have to be encouraged to plan their careers and review and correct plans in the changing context. The core concept of the Planned Happenstance Counseling needs to be oxymorons. By discussing your curiosity, how you can profit from unexpected events and how you can create useful unplanned events, the goal is to make the learning process easier. A career path is a lifelong learning process. The learning process should consists of a number of steps: 

  1. Normally planned coïncidence in the history of the client: asking questions about the background of the client and to create a working relationship. By asking about the history, client become aware that their own actions can contribute to opportunities. A counselor asks a client about happenstances in their life and what happened before the happenstances that made the event happen. 

  2. Help a client to transform their curiosity into opportunities. Clients need to learn to see unexpected events as opportunities they want to explore. In the Planned Happenstance Model career counselors do not identify one perfect career, but they help a client to identify opportunities to learn.

  3. Learn clients to create desirable chance events. Stovall and Teddlie (1993) developed a student guide to analyse career opportunities. A section of this guide is about how people benefit from chance; students should never leave their future passively to chance. Students constantly need to learn new things an actively look foor chance opportunities. Unplanned events will occur and clients can initiatie constructive action to generate desirable events, for example by counduct in informational interviews, sending letters or taking classes. 

  4. Learn a client how to overcome a block to action. Counselors need to help clients to actually engage in constructive actions. Clients may be resistant to constructing opportunities, because they lack curiosity, persistence, flexibility or the skill of risk taking or they can have beliefs that block their willingness. A problematic career belief is commonly related to seeing problems as being overwhelming, being scared of other peoples reactions. 

Suggestions for further research

In previous research, almost everyone focused solely on measurement, matching, prediction and reducing indecision. From one point of view, it could be said that unplanned events affect 100% of career choices, because no one chooses their parents, place of birth etc, but these events do affect the career path. But, at the other hand, people do plan and implement actions that affect their careers. Prior research indicates that the majority of those studied attribute major responsibility to unplanned events. A lot depends on the way the sample group is recruited and the exact way questions are asked. There are five skills hypothesized (and identified by Williams et al., 1997) as aiding people to benefit from chance events: curiosity, persistence, flexibility, optimism and risk taking. Williams also identified other characteristics, such as low tolerance for boredom and being unconventional, hard working, motivated, self-confident, alert, and stable. Not all chance events are positive, like accidents or illnesses. Some people react to negative events with discouragement and inaction, others show even greater effort. Williams identified outcomes not only in career direction but also in altered self-concept. 

What did they conclude? 

Career counseling worked with a theory that was too simple, which disrupted the way people actually made their career choices. The basis theory with three steps may have worked in 1895, but is insufficient nowadays. Career choices are influenced by unpredictable circumstances. Counselors have to take these circumstances in account, which chances the advice for counselors:

  1. Acknowledge that it is normal, inevitable and desirable that unplanned events have an influence. 

  2. Indecision is a state of planful open-mindedness, which helps clients to profit from unforeseen circumstances

  3. Learn a client to profit from unforeseen events, to try something new and create new interests. 

  4. Learn a client to maximize the chance at a usefull unforeseen event. 

  5. Continue the support of a client during their entire career. 

Career counseling isn't an easy process that ends when a client finds a career. It is a complex, fascinating process, which is both personal and work related. 

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Social cognitive model of career self-management: Toward a unifying view of adaptive career behavior across the life span - Lent & Brown - 2013 - Article

Social cognitive model of career self-management: Toward a unifying view of adaptive career behavior across the life span - Lent & Brown - 2013 - Article

The Social Cognitive Career Theory (SCCT) consists of three models that try to explain interest development, choice-making, and performance and persistence in educational and vocational contexts. It is mostly derived from Bandura's General Social Cognitive Framework and tries to link existing theoretical approaches. Now a new and fourth SCCT model is introduced, which is about satisfaction/well-being in educational and vocational contexts. 


The Social Cognitive Career Theory (SCCT) consists of three models that try to explain interest development, choice-making, and performance and persistence in educational and vocational contexts. It is mostly derived from Bandura's General Social Cognitive Framework and tries to link existing theoretical approaches. Now a new and fourth SCCT model is introduced, which is about satisfaction/well-being in educational and vocational contexts. 

SCCT is primarily designed to address a focused but important set of content questions, like predicting the types of educational and vocational activity domains toward which people will gravitate. One way to extend SCCT’s comprehensiveness, then, would be to add more of an explicit focus on the myriad process aspects of career development, addressing the dynamic ways in which people adapt to both routine career tasks and unusual career challenges, both within and across educational/vocational fields.

The traditional emphasis of career theories lies on the “big four” outcomes of interests, choice, performance, and satisfaction. But because of the changing context of work, new models are required. This article tries to develop a model of career self-management that focueses on relatively micro-level processes, focused on adaptive behaviors and on the factors (both environment and person-based) that promote (or deter) their use.

What main concepts do they talk about? 

The term career is used in a generic sense to encompass work or occupational behavior, regardless of the prestige level of a given form of work. The model presented in this study assumes that people are able to assert some measure of personal control, or agency, in at least some aspects of their own career development. The focus is in specific mechanisms through which people are partly able to direct their career actions to accomplish personal ends. Agency made it possible for people to engage in forethought, intentional action and self-reflection. This enables people to participate in their own career choice and is provides necessary foundation for the provision of career services. The term career self-management is used because the proposed model focuses on factors that influence the individual’s purposive behavior. SCCT views people as living within a social world, with ever-present opportunities to be influenced by, as well as to influence.

What is the relation between agency and adaptive career behaviors?

SCCT’s existing models are mostly concerned with the content or types of fields toward which people gravitate and the activities they perform at school and work.The career selfmanagement model is intended to focus on the relatively pervasive processes and mechanisms that direct career behavior within and across the specific fields and jobs people enter. The self-management model emphasizes the factors that lead people to enact behaviors that aid their own educational and occupational progress, like planning, information-gathering, deciding, goalsetting, job-finding, self-asserting, preparing for change, negotiating transitions. 

Adaptive career behaviors are related to constructs like career process skills, comptetencies, meta-competencies, selfregulation and coping skills. Those behaviors are the ones people use to try to achieve their own career objectives. Adaptive career behaviors are also relevant to discussions of specific strategies that workers use to manage their career behavior or cope with specific challenges.

What research has been done about Adaptive Career Behaviors? 

Career behaviors are referred to as career competencies or process skills, like self-assertion, general planning, career advancement, and cognitive coping skills. Students reporting higher self-efficacy demonstrated greater behavioral competence. It is not always clear whether studies involving social cognitive process variables, such as career decision self-efficacy (CDSE), actually test SCCT’s hypotheses in a formal sense. Generally, studies are conceptually related to SCCT but do not formally test it because the theory was not explicitly designed either to incorporate or predict career indecision as a general state. An effort to bridge SCCT with such process-focused inquiry may both broaden the theory’s range of applicability and clarify which SCCT hypotheses, if any, are being tested in a given study.

What is the definition of Adaptive Career Behaviors? 

Adaptive career behaviors are behaviors that people employ to help direct their own career (and educational) development, both under ordinary circumstances and when beset by stressful conditions. These are behaviors that are both proactively and reactively. Career and educational development encompasses periods of work preparation, entry, adjustment, and change. As mechanisms of agency enable people to play a part in their self-development, adaptation, and self-renewal. Individuals will negotiate developmental tasks at different paces, some will necessarily recycle to tasks associated with earlier periods, and the tasks associated with some periods can overlap considerably. Where recycling occurs, it does not necessarily signify developmental failure or floundering; it may well be mandated by circumstances (e.g., job loss) or personal intentions (e.g., voluntary career renewal, the desire to locate better fitting or more meaningful work). Changes in the context of work have rendered many people’s careers less linear, hierarchical, stable, or organizationcentric than in times past. 

What are the preforming developing tasks? 

Adaptive career behaviors include a fairly heterogeneous set of behaviors that form at least two larger conceptual clusters. The first cluster involves engaging in relatively normative and proactive developmental tasks that are associated with age-related cognitive development and nurtured by social learning experiences. These skills form a scaffolding for further career development. Included within the developmental task cluster are career-relevant tasks that are socially prescribed for most individuals. The second cluster involves what may be termed coping skills and processes. These are typically reactive behaviors that are initiated to negotiate life-role transitions and to adjust to challenging, and often unforeseen, work and work–life situations, such as role conflicts, work stress, and job loss. Whether involving the management of transitions or coping with difficult events or work conditions, the focus is on ways in which people attempt to steer themselves around hurdles and to achieve a reasonable level of career adaptation. The effective use of coping skills is part of the network of factors that foster resilience in career development and that aid people to anticipate and try to forestall negative career events.

What is the Link Between Adaptive Behavior and Career Outcomes?

Career adaptability can best be concepualized in terms of a collection of behaviors that can be learned. However, the performance of these behaviors may be facilitated by certain traits as well as by environmental supports. Adaptive career behaviors should be seen as instrumental or intermediate to other, more distal outcomes, rather than as representing ultimate outcomes in themselves. 

What model can be used with Career Self-Management? 

The career self-management model needs to be devided in two parts. 

  • Proximal Antecedents of Adaptive Career Behaviors.  The exercise of adaptive career behaviors, such as engaging in career exploration or job-finding activities, is assumed to be affected by self-efficacy, outcome expectations, goals, and environmental supports and barriers. In keeping with the prior SCCT models, each of these proximal antecedents of adaptive behavior is conceived in domain-, state-, context-, and temporally specific terms. That is, rather than constituting global adaptability traits, they are seen as personal or environmental attributes that are relatively malleable and responsive to particular developmental or situational challenges. However certain traits are also assumed to influence the exercise of adaptive career behaviors or their outcomes.

  • Cognitive-person factors. Self-efficacy refers to personal beliefs about one’s ability to perform particular behaviors or courses of action.

Self-efficacy and outcome expectations are seen as promoting adaptive career behaviors both directly and indirectly, through the mediating effects of personal goals. Several theories propose that actions are partly motivated by goals, or intentions to perform the actions. These theories also suggest that certain types or qualities of goals are especially facilitative of action. Goal-directed actions (e.g., engaging in career exploratory or job search behaviors) make it more likely that people will attain the outcomes they seek. Self-efficacy is also seen as having a direct link to outcomes, or attainments, because of its roles in helping people to organize their actions and to persist in the face of challenges. It should be noted that the cognitive-person variables in the model are seen as operating in concert with environmental influences that have the capacity to enable or limit agency and to codetermine the outcomes of adaptive behaviors. They also operate jointly with other person inputs, such as personality factors. 

What are contextual and personality factors for this model?

People are most likely to set and implement goals for adaptive career behaviors when they are stimulated by environmental supports and they have few barriers. Contextual support and barriers can promote goals and actions and they can moderate the relation of goals to action.  Supports and barriers may relate indirectly to goals through their links to self-efficacy and outcome expectations. Contextual influencas can also directly affect the outcomes of adaptive behaviors and they can moderate action-outcome relations. Conscientiousness is the most important personality variable that facilitates the use of adaptive behaviors that require planning and persistence. Personality factors can influence the careers by making behavioral prestations easier.

Quality of performance is likely to depend on ability as well as self-efficacy and the other proximal variables in the self-management model. Research on career self-management could include a focus on abilities, particularly where quality of performance is of special interest. 

What are distal antecedents and experiential sources of Adaptive Career Behaviors? 

Consistent with SCCT’s general model of choice behavior, the distal variables include a variety of person inputs that, together, comprise the individual’s initial social address.  Although it represents a starting point, developmentally speaking, this address provides an important social learning context for acquiring self-efficacy and outcome expectations regarding adaptive career behaviors. An important point is that person inputs, such as gender, ethnicity, social class, and sexual orientation, are seen as affecting the exercise of career agentic behaviors largely indirectly, for example, via cultural socialization experiences that convey information about self-efficacy. More specifically, such socialization or learning experiences convey four types of information relevant to self-efficacy  and outcome expectations: personal performance accomplishments, observational learning (or modeling), social encouragement and persuasion, and physiological and affective states and reactions. In addition to these four types of experience, self-efficacy is seen as affecting outcome expectations because people often expect more positive outcomes when they view themselves as capable performers. The four learning experiences largely mediate the effect of person inputs and background contextual affordances on the social cognitive variables that enable career agency. 

What did they conclude? 

The extension of SCCT is a developmental task and coping challenge of career self-management. The self-management model focuses on the underlying adaptive career behavior that occurs across occupational paths instead of only on the contentiriented issues like field choice. The new model is a broad framework that can be adapted to the study of a wide range of adaptive career behaviors. The model’s explanatory utility and the joint operation of its component variables still needs to be assessed in future research.

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Strategies for coping with career indecision - Lipshits-Braziler, Gati & Tatar - 2016 - Article

Strategies for coping with career indecision - Lipshits-Braziler, Gati & Tatar - 2016 - Article


What are the objectives of this study?

Career decisions are one of the most important and stressful decisions in life. The process can cause cognitive, emotional as well as personal-related difficulties. Coping is explained as behavioural or cognitive efforts to manage certain situations that are perceived stressful. Coping strategies can be (a) problem focused or approach coping (b) emotion focused coping, (c) avoidant coping or (d) support seeking. The objective of this study is to develop and test a theoretical model named strategies for coping with career indecision (SCCI). The model exists from 14 categories representing three main clusters for coping: productive coping, support-seeking and non-productive coping. The concepts are derived from other coping theories. They are adapted in the context of coping with decisions about career. 

What methods were used in the study?

To test the model, a SCCI questionnaire was used. It was based on a combination of Skinner's (2003) model about coping with stress. Forty specific categories were used, twelve of these categories were derived from Skinner's model. The model included three clusters:

  1. Productive coping

  2. Support-seeking

  3. Non-productive coping

Support seeking was divided in instrumental help seeking, emotional help-seeking and delegation. Productive coping was split into instrumental information seeking, emotional information seeking, problem solving, flexibility, accommodation and self-regulation. Non-productive coping is divided into escape, helplessness, isolation, submission and opposition.

It was developed using data from 10 samples. The first study reported that the development of SCCI and the psychometric properties. An additional sample of young Israelis deciding about their career was used. In study 2a, a confirmatory factor analysis was done. In study 2b, concurrent validity was tested.

What were the results?

The researchers found that both samples confirmed hypothesized distinction between three coping clusters. They used Hebrew and English versions of the SCCI that both confirmed the proposed model. Delegation and emotional help-seeking were also associated with non-productive coping. Also, instrumental help-seeking was associated with productive coping support-seeking. Support-seeking was related to both productive and non-productive coping. 

They also found cultural differences. The Israeli sample showed higher scores on helplessness, delegation and submission. The English sample scored higher on emotional information seeking, accommodation, isolation and flexibility. These differences could be explained by social and cultural background. 

What are implications for further research?

The implications for future research and career counselling are discussed. Even though there seems to be consensus that coping refers to adaptively changing cognitive as well as behavioural actions to manage stress (Lazarus & Folkman, 1984). However, these changes were not investigated in the current research. This is because the researchers think that cross-sectional methods can only provide a snapshot of the developmental process, which is dynamic. In future research a longitudinal design should be used to assess coping styles that are used for career decisions. 

What are implications for counselling? 

Counsellors should not only understand the nature of indecision, but also assess the coping strategies used by the individual. Is that person dealing effectively with its indecisiveness? The SCCI could help counsellors with getting an initial diagnosis of how people handle challenges of career decision making. This makes it easier for counsellors to give recommendations on how to handle their decision problems. Additionally, counsellors should provide techniques to reduce non-productive coping and promote productive coping. 

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Job search and voluntary turnover in a boundaryless world; A control theory perspective - Direnzo & Greenhaus - 2011 - Article

Job search and voluntary turnover in a boundaryless world; A control theory perspective - Direnzo & Greenhaus - 2011 - Article


What are the objectives of the study?

The psychology of voluntarily leaving an organization has been of psychologists' interest for a while. March and Simon (1958) tried to identify the psychological processes involved in voluntary turnover. Low job satisfaction is a primary indicator of voluntary departure. Other promotional aspects include other job opportunities and a strong economy. These factors of desirability and ease of movement are incorporated in models trying to explain organizational departure. However, the predictive power of these models remains low. Lee and Mitchell (1994) discovered that instead of low job satisfaction, a series of shocks is responsible for voluntary turnover. For example, family related pressure or responsibility. The ease of movement has gotten increased attention lately, especially how it developed over time. 

Steel (2002) developed a cybernetic model that handles job search as a cyclical and self-regulatory process. Information in this case provides new opportunities for dynamic learning. These can enable an individual to influence and adapt to a changing labour market by changing conceptions about employability over time. 

In this study, a cybernetic model of voluntary turnover and job search, based on the need to stay employable in a volatile economy is proposed. In the model, the process by which people engage in cycles of job search activities that could enlarge the likelihood of voluntary turnover and increase opportunities for development of additional career skills. The implications of this model for future research are discussed. 

What is the role of desirability and ease of movement in the voluntary turnover literature?

Job satisfaction plays an important role in all literature of voluntary turnover. A negative association exists between voluntary turnover and job satisfaction. Ease of movement has been incorporated into turnover models by employment rates, general job availability, perceived alternatives and movement capital. The interplay between desirability -and ease of movement can take two forms:

  1. The linear relationship between job affect and voluntary turnover where dissatisfaction leads to thougts about quitting and evaluation of other options (Mobley, 1977).

  2. The relationship between voluntary turnover and job satisfaction is stronger when the rate of unemployment is low. This suggest that human capital together with employability affect how job dissatisfaction influences voluntary turnover. 

What is the role of employability in a boundaryless world?

Organizations are pressured to stay lean due to globalization and technical advancements. Employers start looking externally for new capabilities instead of maintaining long-term relations with employees. Boundaryless careers are different from organisational careers in their independence from traditional organizational agreements. The need to remain employable is highly relevant because of economic uncertainty. Employability depends on the capacity to leverage personal resources. Individuals are now agents of their own career destinies.

What model is used for job search and voluntary turnover?

Even though individuals that quit their job have different destinations, this model is focused on people who immediately go to another organization after voluntary turnover. The model is based upon cybernetic systems where environmental feedback is compared to a reference standard. Also, corrective or adaptive behaviours are enacted to reduce individual differences. Therefore, job search consists of two elements:

  • Search activities

  • Comparison processes

Job search activities used for exploration and actively seeking for alternative employment are handled the same because they can both enable someone to gauge their employability in the market. Individuals that perceive a negative discrepancy between current and desired employability try to reduce discrepancy trough adaptive actions. These are called career strategy behaviours. The empowerment of these strategies can lead to enhanced competencies and skills and therefore, employee voluntary turnover. 

What is the effect of job search on career strategies and career competencies? 

The researchers suggest that enactment of career related behavioural strategies is related to with the development of know-how, know-why and know-whom skills. Furthermore, it is expected that some of the career strategies enhance human capital. Strategies related to enhancement of human capital also provide career related benefits. They also propose that career strategies related to networking lead to the development of social capital. Lastly, they suggest that people that can enhance their knowing-why competencies through undertaking career strategy behaviours. All career strategies propose an opportunity for the betterment of self-awareness, critical to knowing-why competencies. 

What are the effects of career competencies on employability?

The individual qualities; talent and expertise determine the ease of movement and the availability of jobs. Human capital causes people to see the labour market and enlarge to competition of services of an individual to external employers. The increase of teachable knowledge, skills (knowing-how competencies) increases the value of an employee. Making new friends and with that learning knowing-whom skills in organizations could lead to possible job opportunities. Also, the strength of social network can enhance career growth options and keep the employee open-minded to new opportunities for his career.  

What is the effect of employability on psychological mobility?

The authors propose that an increase of employability can result in finding alternative career paths. This finding is consistent with the cybernetic perspective: people enact in adaptational strategies for their career. Strategic behaviours can be used to enhance current competencies in career and to promote a high employability. Psychological mobility is enlarged by this, especially when people are not highly embedded in the job they currently have. On the other hand, when people receive a higher level of employability that they desire, the discrepancy between current and desired employability may be overlooked. This is a result of the comparison process caused by their activities in job search. Their current level of employability is the same as their desired level of employability, so there is no need to keep using adaptive career strategy behaviours.

What is the effect of psychological mobility on job search?

People are likely to enhance job search activities if they believe that this effort will get them rewarding outcomes (Vroom, 1964). On the other hand, people with a strong view of psychological mobility are motivated to engage in
more high-level job search to serve them information necessary to make accurate comparisons between desired and current employability. The refinement of comparisons between desired and current employability over time is a crystallization process: vague impressions of opportunity for employment result in concrete understandings of alternatives to current employment. According to Steel (2002) people engage in job search activities to get more particularistic information. Also, movement capital increases employability and produces feelings of psychological mobility. In conjunction with job satisfaction, this leads to extensive search for alternative job options. This can result in turnover. 

What is the effect of job search on voluntary turnover?

Labour market knowledge is enhanced by job search. It gives employees better perceptions about the reality of the current labour market (Steel, 1996,2002). Therefore, job search should be consistent even if employees discover they have employability deficiencies through comparisons with
more information, which causes them to engage in more career strategy behaviours. Another thing that could happen is that individuals develop fully crystallized alternative job opportunities that result in voluntary turnover. However, job search can also cause work conditions to improve. This is because the labour market turnover can also result in a focus towards staying instead of leaving the organization. This is only true when someone is satisfied with the job. 

What is the effect of voluntary turnover on the development of career competencies?

The theory of turnover in de model also discusses the effect of voluntary turnover on someone’s career. Previous literature often considered turnover as a dependent variable of the decision-making process. Especially in considering the extensive job mobility in the current workforce. Changing positions internally in an organization is different from moving to another company. Transitions that are interorganizational are more likely to introduce an individual to new contacts. Interorganizational transitions also lead to more knowing-how competencies because a substantially different position requires learning new skills. People that gain the phase of mastery in their career cycle often gain experience and expertise in a new area of responsibility. However, acquiring a different position within the same company learns them about organizational boundaries and the role of interpersonal relationships. Lastly, knowing-why competencies can grow as a result of turnover. Working in a new environment can provide new options for career exploration. It can provide insight in the best career path.

What are implications for further research?

The researchers tried to explain the cycle of adaptation over the job environment that is consistent with a cybernetic perspective on job search. They also ought to reposition the role of job satisfaction and its influence on voluntary turnover. Finally, they discussed an examination of consequences of voluntary turnover for career competencies. In the research they pointed out some the following suggestions for future research.

  • One opportunity for future research could be to investigate other career orientations than measured in the current study. For example, the orientation career as a calling or career anchors.

  • It is likely the comparison process between job does not only rely on the discrepancy of current and desired employability. The attribution regarding someone’s employability should be associated with the choice of certain career alternatives.

  • The linkage between psychological mobility and employability should be researched more.

  • The researchers believe that psychological mobility and some form of job search is needed for job dissatisfaction to kick in. In future research the three-way interaction between psychological mobility, job satisfaction and personal orientation should be examined.

  • The responses of companies to potential departures should be considered.

  • Future research should explain the conditions of the effect of turnover on knowing-why, knowing-how and knowing-whom competencies.

  • There could also be a relationship between the quality of career relationships and the development of career competencies.

  • The researchers suggest a direct test of the assumption that the enhancement of employability is salient to a certain segment of the workplace.

  • The results of the study should be replicated across different cultures to research cross-cultural differences.

  • Investigating the interacting role of economic changes could provide crucial insights into the process of voluntary turnover.

  • Finally, methodological changes should be made to see if the outcomes also hold when they are researched with a longitudinal design.

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Career resilience: An integrated review of the empirical literature - Mishra & McDonald - 2017 - Article

Career resilience: An integrated review of the empirical literature - Mishra & McDonald - 2017 - Article

The literature on career resilience (CR) to develop a nomological network describing major components of the construct in relation to other constructs is reviewed and synthesized in this article. Antecedents and consequences are examined together with the theoretical basis of CR. The implications for the created model for managers, organizations and individuals is discussed. 


The literature on career resilience (CR) to develop a nomological network describing major components of the construct in relation to other constructs is reviewed and synthesized in this article. Antecedents and consequences are examined together with the theoretical basis of CR. The implications for the created model for managers, organizations and individuals is discussed. 

What are the objectives of this study?

Technology, globalization, changing workplace demographics -and the economy change how individuals approach and evaluate their careers. Employees should be resilient, meaning that they should be able to "bounce back". Other requirements caused by the changing workplace are adaptive, nimble, employable and protean. CR is defined as the resistance of a person to career disruption when the environment is less than optimal. It is contrasting to career vulnerability which is the psychological fragility in situations with a less than optimal career environment. There are three sub-domains:

  1. Self-efficacy

  2. Risk taking

  3. Dependency

Researchers found that CR grows when people gain more experience and age. Carson & Bedeian (1994) found that CR is a dimension of career commitment. However, in the early studies CR was a dimension of other career constructs. After that several publications followed on creation of a career resilient workforce. People should exhibit career self-resilience which is the ability to manage one's own work-life in a changing environment. Also, people should learn how to be self-employed

Most research was focused on career adaptability, protean careers and employability instead of CR. Therefore, the importance of CR and how Human Resource Development (HRD) can assist in creation of novel knowledge to increase CR is researched.  

What methods were used?

Several reviews on integrated literature have already been performed. For example: family resilience, personal resilience, psychological resilience and resilience in childhood. In the process of researching career resilience, several databases were searched. A staged review was conducted, and sixty articles were selected. After that seventeen more articles were rejected, and forty-three remaining articles were examined. 

In the next phase, a nomological network was presented in which relationships with CR were discussed. A nomological network is defined as a theoretical framework to sum up the different dimensions of an existing construct in relation to other interrelated constructs. The nomological network can provide important considerations for future research. The first step is to define CR. 

What is CR?

Currently, there are some major disambiguates in the definition of CR. Scholars have defined CR as the ability of people to recover from setbacks related to their career. However, this definition does not incorporate the environmental and contextual factors that contribute to the recovery. This is not a constant attribute. Others have defined CR as the process through human interactions, developed over time. The advantage of this view is that different mechanisms that contribute to CR are considered. 

The current literature study suggests that CR is a complex phenomenon. It comes from interaction between different characteristics combined with contextual factors. The authors define CR as the developmental process of adaptation, persistence and flourishing of an individual in his career despite changes, disruptions and challenges over time. Three important aspects are highlighted:

  • CR is a process rather than a one-time event

  • CR is a positive adaptation because it develops

  • CR should recognize that challenges and disruptions can cause setbacks in both personal and professional life. 

How are personality traits related to CR?

A variety of factors contribute to the capacity to combat adversities of life. Personality is a great contributor, research was done using the big five personality traits. 

Consciousness is defined as the tendency for purposefulness, organized behaviour and ambition. It was the most frequently associated trait with CR. Proactiveness, like consciousness has a positive influence on CR. In a study to CR from Lastly, Bowles and Anrup (2016) they labelled the second most resilient group as adaptors. They exposed goal focused and systematic thinking behaviour, related to consciousness. The relationship between consciousness and CR is not completely clear. It might be that people with high consciousness engage in more proactive behaviour or they could have more effective coping strategies. 

  1. Neuroticism is associated with the experience of anxiety, depression and other psychological distress. A negative relation was found between trait anxiety, comparable to neuroticism and CR. However, negative affectivity, which is also comparable was not related to CR. People with high neuroticism might exhibit disengagement coping focused on escaping feelings of distress. 

  2. Openness is described as curiosity, imaginatively and flexibility. The relationship between openness and CR is positive. It was found that the innovators among teachers appear to be the most resilient. It is not clear how openness influences CR, it might be because they apply cognitive restructuring after a career setback. 

  3. Extraversion can be explained as the dimension of sociability. A weak, but positive relationship was found between extraversion and CR. A highly positive connection was found between positive affectivity and CR. Thus, the experience of positive emotions could contribute to CR. 

  4. Agreeableness means a caring, trusting and sympathetic tendency. A positive relation was found between agreeableness and CR. However, only one study found this result. The reason for the relationship might be that agreeable people have stronger social networks.

How are core self-evaluations related to CR?

Core self-evaluations are beliefs people hold about themselves and their functioning in social context. There are four traits that play a role: generalized self-efficacy, emotional stability, self-esteem and locus of control. 

  • Locus of control is an individual’s perceived control over events in life. A positive correlation was found between internal locus of control and CR. Also, self-directedness and hardiness were positively associated with CR. 

  • Self-efficacy is the perception of one's ability to perform across different situations. All studies found a positive correlation with CR. 

  • Self-esteem is the value someone has about himself. Only one study examined the relation with CR, but they found a strong and positive relationship. It is possible that people with positive core self-evaluations handle coping more adaptively. 

How do skills influence CR?

Skills, developed over a period could also contribute to CR. For example, the skill to challenge counterproductive beliefs could be helpful during a career setback. There are skills that can be developed to enhance CR. These are technical -and time management, communication skills and support skills. Furthermore, Akkermans, Brenninkmeijer, Schaufeli and Blonk (2015) found six career competencies contributing to CR: self-profiling, work explanation, reflection on qualities, career control, networking and reflection on motivations. 

How do attitudes influence CR?

It was found that attitudes such as eagerness to learn, liking challenges, not taking things personally and optimism contribute to CR. 

  • Career-related attitudes refer to career orientation. 

  • Boundaryless means that someone has a career focus that is not limited by boundaries. This was negatively associated with CR. 

  • Protean career focus is that someone is focused on the individual rather than the organization of being in control over one's career. This form of self-directed protean orientation was positively correlated with CR. 

How do behaviours influence CR?

Learning about organizational changes is positively related to CR. Other behaviours that positively influence CR are:

  1. Health habits

  2. Learning behaviours

  3. Boundary-setting behaviour

  4. Self-reflection

How does career history influence CR?

Some studies found an effect of career history on CR. It was a counter-intuitive relation in which training could increase CR, but at the same time decreases satisfaction. This could be because training can increase career expectations making them more disappointed when a setback is experienced. 

How do contextual factors influence CR? 

supportive workplace can contribute to CR. For example, supervisor support and equitable treatment have a positive effect on CR. Furthermore, the absence of positive affective experiences is negatively correlated to CR. Organizational support also means development of employees' competencies and skills. Job characteristics can enhance the intrinsic motivation about work. Autonomy, feedback and skill variety have a positive influence on CR. Finally, having a supportive family is important for CR. 

What are the implications for further research and practice?

There should be consensus about the meaning of CR. It should be considered a process. The advantages are that it is less restrictive and can help provide better insights in how career resilience can be enhanced. It is important to emphasize individual career development rather than organizational benefit in HRD. 

Both training and development opportunities should be created to help increase CR. Additionally HRD should recognize that counselling is needed throughout one's career. Furthermore, contextual factors should be considered. These include providing someone with a leadership role, promotion of autonomy and skill variety and maintain supportive relationships throughout the workplace. 

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Adaptable careers: Maximizing less and exploring more - van Vianen, de Pater & Preenen - 2009 - Article

Adaptable careers: Maximizing less and exploring more - van Vianen, de Pater & Preenen - 2009 - Article

Nowadays youngsters are forced to choose between vocational, educational, and job options in order to make the best possible choice. Decision making with regards to career is important but doesn't acknowledge the problems related to this process. Intuitive processing of information about careers could help people to develop a more flexible and positive view about themselves and their environment. It can also contribute to diminishing worries about accountability and irreversibility of career decisions. Also, adaptability should become more important than decision making. 


Nowadays youngsters are forced to choose between vocational, educational, and job options in order to make the best possible choice. Decision making with regards to career is important but doesn't acknowledge the problems related to this process. Intuitive processing of information about careers could help people to develop a more flexible and positive view about themselves and their environment. It can also contribute to diminishing worries about accountability and irreversibility of career decisions. Also, adaptability should become more important than decision making. 

What are the objectives of this study?

Career indecision is common among college students and is often associated with feelings of anxiety and low self-esteem. Many people are unhappy with their decision afterwards. In this article, researchers trying to determine the importance of decision making in careers given the traditional concept of career. They argue that conscious decision making is not the most optimal strategy for making career decisions. It might be better to choose based upon new concepts, such ad adaptability, short-term decision making and mastery of different roles. 

What is the role of rationality and intuition in decision making?

Decision making is a complex process and costs time and effort due to its cognitive nature. Decisions about career are often made based upon great uncertainty. According to Peterson, Sampson, Lenz & Readron (2002) there are five stages of decision making:

  1. Defining the problem

  2. Understanding the underlying mechanisms

  3. Formulating plausible alternatives

  4. Prioritizing alternatives

  5. Evaluating the outcomes

First, in defining the problem the first obstacle is presented. Questions about goals and career perspective arise while the overall process is unclear. An overview of plausible alternatives often is missing and evaluating the outcomes seems almost impossible. Despite these difficulties, a decision is made. This is based upon different decision styles that are used:

  • Rational style: a logical and structural approach;

  • Intuitive style: based upon impressions and feelings

  • Avoidant style: postponing

  • Spontaneous style: impulsive decision making

Deciding which style to use depends on circumstances. For example, a rational decision style does not work under time pressure. It also turns out rational decisions are often not the best decisions because people do not have all possible choice alternatives. The best choice was often made using both rational and intuitive decision making. However, another strategy is that people often feel a felt preference after postponing a decision for a while. This is the result of unconscious thought. Fundamental research found evidence for unconscious decision-making being an intelligent way of decision making. This had the following implications. 

  • Rational thinking is only useful when people have information about their self-awareness and the environment. 

  • Relying too much upon rational decision making can block decision making. 

What is meant by career indecision?

The avoidant, spontaneous and dependent decision-making styles are expressions of indecision. Generally, people decide when the two requirements are met.

  1. The chosen option must be minimally attractive;

  2. The chosen option must be slightly better than other options;

People set a norm for what is minimally attractive and differ in their regulatory focus. This is the tendency to focus on promotion or prevention. The regulatory focus is not fixed. 

How do people respond to many choice options?

People tend to be less happy when presented with more choices. This is because people tend to strive for the best choice. This makes the norm very high. Therefore, having to choose between a large amount of career options could result in less favourable outcomes. 

What is the influence of accountability and irreversibility?

When people can choose the best possible career, failure of their career will result in self-blame. They are accountable for their success. If people are not encouraged to aim for a maximum outcome, they might rely more on unconscious decision making leading to more positive outcomes. Also, irreversibility comes from the fact that young adults were promoted to choose their career path early even though in the current reality the right choice for an optimal future career does not exist. 

What is the traditional career theory?

In traditional career theory the delay of decision making is often seen as problematic. However, they might lead to the opposite. According to traditional career theory, people tend to seek environments that match their attitudes and values. Other theories, such as the social cognitive career theory says that environment and experiences shape occupational choices. Super (1999) stated career stages bound to age for making a career decision. First there is growth, followed by exploration, establishment, maintenance and finally disengagement.

What is the future career theory?

It is argued that changing job markets will change decision making. A rapid adaptation of skills is required and traditional careers less common. This means traditional career theories do no longer apply. In the future career theory, continuous experimenting and learning is emphasized. People should focus on their breadth self-efficacy, rather than task-specific self-efficacy. Young adults should not rely on planning their career and focus on career adaptability. They should be ready to cope with both predictable and unpredictable adjustments in work conditions. 

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From theory to intervention: Mapping theoretically derived behavioural determinants to behaviour change techniques - Michie et al - 2009 - Article

From theory to intervention: Mapping theoretically derived behavioural determinants to behaviour change techniques - Michie et al - 2009 - Article

Article summary with From theory to intervention: Mapping theoretically derived behavioural determinants to behaviour change techniques - Michie, Johnston, Francis, Hardeman & Eccles - 2009


Designing interventions to change behaviour often rely on theories that provide little guidance on how behaviour is changed. In the current article, the researchers try to explain methods for the development of behaviour changing techniques and for linking existing techniques to the underlying theoretical constructs.

What are the objectives of this study?

Interventions to change behaviour should be based on behavioural theories. Problems with interventions often arise in the evaluation part. This is because the intervention is not fully defined. When designing an intervention there are some steps that need to be taken.

  1. Accumulation of evidence

  2. Creating a theoretical basis

  3. Modelling of the theoretical basis. This includes hypothesis testing of what to target and how to target.

  4. Designing and implementing including evaluation.

The use of theory in interventions is important because interventions are often more effective when they target the behaviours that are responsible for behavioural change. Also, the only way to test a theory properly is when it relies on theoretically informed evaluations. Lastly interventions based on theory facilitate the understanding of the intervention across different populations, contexts and behaviours. A theory-based intervention is an intervention where implicit causal assumptions are avoided and that can be tested using a randomised controlled trial. Without a theoretical basis intervention prove to be less effective, but even with a theoretical framework the information about how to develop theory-based interventions is limited. Therefore, researchers that design intervention should have a small number of theoretical frameworks that are based on empirical evidence of the predictive value. Then, techniques should be identified to change these behavioural determinants. There is currently no accessible and comprehensive list of techniques. There should be a procedure for the selection of techniques to target behavioural determinants. The aim of this study is to contribute to the process of constructing a taxonomy about techniques used for behavioural change and the development of theory-based interventions.

What methods were used in this study?

They generated a list of techniques published in two systematic reviews. In stage 1 a list of techniques and definitions was created by consultation of textbooks and brainstorming. Also, the reliability of the extracted definitions was measured. Then thirty-five techniques were used for brainstorming by clinical psychologists. In addition, two of the authors expanded the created list by systematically extracting techniques from textbooks. These textbooks were identified by clinical course leaders. Then the reliability of extracting definitions was tested. A third, independent researcher assessed this reliability. During stage two techniques were mapped onto behavioural determinants. The applicability of each technique was rated and categorized upon agreement. The categories were the following:

  1. Agreed use: researchers agreed upon the use of the technique

  2. Agreed non-use: agreement that technique would not be used

  3. Disagreement

What were the results of the study?

The researchers found eleven constructs associated with behaviour change. Thirty-five techniques were identified and expanded to fifty-three by brainstorming techniques and enlarged to one hundred thirty-seven by using textbooks. The fifty-three definitions that were agreed upon by the four experts were assessed together with the additional eighty-three definitions derived from textbooks. Then the definitions were mapped onto behavioural determinants. The agreement for fifty-three of the definitions came to 74.7%. Furthermore, agreements about the link between the thirty-five techniques and theoretical constructs was calculated to be 71%.

What can be concluded by the research?

The work illustrates that developing a comprehensive and reliable taxonomies related to theory can be developed. A reasonable agreement can be accomplished about the identification of separate techniques, definitions and mapping them onto behavioural determinants. It is clear that this is a cumulative process and the created list will get more and more additions to it. A technique should have a clear definition and should not duplicate techniques that are already in the list. The generation of the list used for theory-based interventions has a wider applicability. It can also be used to describe interventions without a theoretical basis, but only when the behavioural determinants fit the 11 described domains. Furthermore, it could be used to describe interventions that have already been published in meta-analysis. However, further refinement is needed to diminish redundancies, complete definitions and to resolve uncertainties.

What were the strengths and limitations of the current study?

Despite the subjective difficulty of the task, the results of the mapping techniques showed a reasonable level of agreement. A lack of familiarity with the techniques would result in disagreement or uncertainty. This finding alone can be applied in avoid wasting human resources on interventions likely to be unsuccessful. There is also a substantial agreement about changes to some of the determinants and techniques on changing each of the eleven theoretical domains.

However, the classification across causal determinants was not evenly distributed. This indicates that fewer options for the selection of change techniques that we are not aware of. Some techniques appear to be relevant to changing more constructs than others. The selection of techniques should be guided, and it may be more feasible to operationalize certain techniques instead of others. In future research, more techniques for a single determinant might be identified.

Another possibility is that with a larger body of experts it is likely that more techniques could be found using a larger body of experts. This will increase the number of techniques substantially.

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Nudging citizens? Prospects and pitfalls confronting a new heuristic - Moseley & Stoker - 2013 - Article

Nudging citizens? Prospects and pitfalls confronting a new heuristic - Moseley & Stoker - 2013 - Article

Recently, there has been a shift in paradigms in the debate about policies and their focus on nudge. Strategies for nudging are based on the understanding of social, moral and cognitive factors that drive human decision making. The area of environmental policy nudging is influenced by the government to help change citizens and corporate behaviour. Even though nudging strategies are often based on social science literature, the translation of theory into working strategies is not as straightforward as it might seem. Within nudge heuristics, the complexities and challenges of decision making should be addressed, otherwise potential in the creation of viable policy intervention is lost


Recently, there has been a shift in paradigms in the debate about policies and their focus on nudge. Strategies for nudging are based on the understanding of social, moral and cognitive factors that drive human decision making. The area of environmental policy nudging is influenced by the government to help change citizens and corporate behaviour. Even though nudging strategies are often based on social science literature, the translation of theory into working strategies is not as straightforward as it might seem. Within nudge heuristics, the complexities and challenges of decision making should be addressed, otherwise potential in the creation of viable policy intervention is lost.

What are the objectives for this study?

Policy makers are developing new insights to re-emphasize or approach the way we approach citizens. These understandings have been neglected because in a state led society, command and incentive-based interventions were good enough. However, while seeking an alternative to create behaviour change, different tools -and way of thinking was required. This is when the nudge theories gained in popularity. Nudge thinking challenges some of the presumptions of the current national policy and administration. Yet there is evidence from social science that implications of nudging are not as straightforward as some of the advocates for nudging theory suggest. The translation of nudge insights to policy involve social and political challenges. The objective of this study is to argue that nudges that are already designed into policies might be limited in value because instead of a top-down way of processing, a bottom-up way should be used in the translation from nudge insights into practice.

When did the nudge paradigm emerge?

Jackson (2005) commented on existing policies that used traditional theories on how to change behaviour. He argued that the notion that people make rational decisions based on self-interest is so embedded in our policies on how to change consumer and citizen behaviour, it has an immediate familiarity to us. In the book Nudge, by Thaler and Sunstein (2008) the rationalist view of changing human behaviour is challenged. He argues to see people as homo economics instead of homo sapiens. People are less than perfect decision makers, they do not make rational decisions, but rather use shortcuts, social norms, pressures and even morals. The starting point for nudge was that people lack the ability to process all the information of multiple sources to some to a decision. Campaigns in which the acceptability of certain ideas is promoted provoke actions in humans holding the same ideas. The idea of rational choice as the lead heuristic for understanding decision making should be replaces by the claim of nudge: that people reason based on cognitive shortcuts, social processes and motivations that are not just instrumental.

What evidence is there from social science that explains nudge in relation to human decision making?

There have been findings from social science on which the nudge approach is based.

First, cognitive pathways influence the way people make decisions. Humans have a fundamental problem in decision making because we are unable to process the available information and determine the consequences. This is because our cognitive capacity is limited. The decision-making process is therefore guided by habits of thought, rules of thumb and emotions. Several popular theories have emerged explaining this perspective.

  • The social prospect theory (Kahneman and Tversky. 1979) states that decision makers that ownership of goods plays a significant role in the decision-making process. When people are afraid that they have something to lose, they apply strategies to prevent loss from occurring.

  • Psychological discounting means that short-term effects weigh higher than long-term effects in decision making. Discounting is the behaviour in a less rational and consistent way in which we place hyperbolic discounting is applied. This leads to overweighting short-term consumption and discounting long-term effects.

  • The prosperity to maintain a status quo means that people do not change their habits unless they are pressured to. A powerful mechanism that could help is the shifting to maximization of social welfare. This means to remove the active-decision choice and automatically enrol people into actions that support social welfare, for example pension savings programmes.

  • The issue of cognitive consistency means that people aim to achieve consistency between behaviour and beliefs. If these two clash, it results in the uncomfortable feeling of cognitive dissonance. People are more motivated to change their behaviour to be consistent with their beliefs.

Secondly, social influences such as how we are seen by others alter our decisions. The technique of information disclosure makes people more likely to contribute to the community because they see others do it too. The visibility of individual actions therefore leads to the creation of social norms. Social context is important because it guides people in what behaviour is accepted or expected. When people are confronted by a situation and perceive ambiguity, they rely on the opinion of people they trust on social cures from people they trust and identify with. Important theories are theories of inter-group bias and the social capital theory.

  • Theories of inter-group bias stress the importance of loyalty -and identification promoted by group membership. We look for a way to behave, or social proof.

  • The social capital theory states that social networks that underpin social norms, such as trust, mutuality and reciprocity influence decision making. This is because obedience or disobedience to social norms can lead to approval or disapproval of the community.

The third are moral convictions. There are three forms of moral behaviour described by Goodin (1980).

  • Prudential morality is an appeal to enlightened and long-term self-interest and is achieved by self-reflection.

  • Internalized moral principles are given the same status as instrumental and self-interested motivations in decision making.

  • Sacred moral principles require protection and shall not be traded under any circumstances.

How can nudges be translated into policy interventions?

Nudge-style insights can be used for designing successful policy interventions. Nudges that include social information, pledging and feedback were more effective. The tools that governments can use to shape their policies for behavioural change are described below.

  • Framing is the way in which policy makers address context to encourage targeted groups to respond in certain ways. Framing is a top-down approach in which decisions are influenced by support and policy format. However, a lack of trust in the government may limit conveying the message.

  • Persuasion is a technique in which people’s beliefs are consciously altered. Framing only changes the relative importance whereas persuasion is trying to change belief content. It is again a top-down technique where a clear capacity for delivery of a strong message is required. However, too many conflicting challenges or perspectives limit the capacity for shifting beliefs.

  • Norm-creation is when the government is trying to create positive norms in society and specifically in social groups. It is a way of bottom-up influencing decision making and uses the ability to cede control. It also only works in an interactive partnership with citizens. Failing can occur when the government cannot provide time, space and support the citizen-led activities to promote norm-creation.

The researchers argument that their claims support the development of nudge strategies and their appliance, the use of conventional tools is needed as well. For financial purposes, health and authority, conventional tools are more useful in behavioural regulation. Nudge can bring in additional tools for changing consumer habits.

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Nudge and the manipulation of choice: A framework for the responsible use of the nudge approach to behaviour change in public policy - Hansen & Jespersen - 2013 - Article

Nudge and the manipulation of choice: A framework for the responsible use of the nudge approach to behaviour change in public policy - Hansen & Jespersen - 2013 - Article

The book of Thaler and Sunstein (2008) suggests that policy-makers of public policies should arrange decision making in a way that behaviour change is promoted. Both society and individual interests should be considered.  Yes, discussions concerning the acceptability of nudge-based policy to change behaviour have emerged.


The book of Thaler and Sunstein (2008) suggests that policy-makers of public policies should arrange decision making in a way that behaviour change is promoted. Both society and individual interests should be considered.  Yes, discussions concerning the acceptability of nudge-based policy to change behaviour have emerged.

What are the objectives of this study?

According to Thaler and Sunstein (2008) people are always influenced by the context of decision making and nudging is just taking the liberty of using this for influencing these decisions. On the other hand, criticism of nudging techniques arises with the argument that nudging works by manipulation of citizens’ choices. The aim of the current article is to illustrate that arguments on both sides are flawed. The dual-process theory is used to show the epistemic transparency criterion described by Thaler and Sunstein (2008) to show that nudging is not about manipulation nor influencing choice. They create a framework in which four types of nudges are identified. They can provide a central component for nuanced, normative considerations in creating social policies.

How should nudging be approached in behavioural change policy?

Nudge means that human decision making is not rational but influenced by several social and environmental factors. Decision making is often influenced by subtle, insignificant-seeming contextual cues. Thaler and Sunstein (2008) suggest creating policy based on ways to influence people’s behaviour taking these contextual cues into consideration while avoiding the pitfalls and problems of traditional approaches. The definition by Thalor and Sunstein (2008) of nudge is that if subtle changes in the context of decision making can lead us astray from our best interest, the insights of how that happens can ‘nudge’ people in the right direction for health, happiness and wealth. This low-cost technique of changing political measures therefore is highly attractive.

What are the responsibilities of designing interventions based on nudge?

According to Thaler and Sunstein (2008) an architect of choice should take responsibility for the organization of context in which people make decisions. They suggest that these people should view themselves as choice architects. In this context, many people are considered choice architects. A policy-maker who adjusts the range of choice options is just as much a choice architect as someone who adjusts the choice structure. A choice architect should choose a way to design the context in which people make decisions and that he is responsible for. They also note there is nu such thing as a neutral design. It is impossible to be an agent in people’s decision making without influencing people’s behaviour and choices. The responsible thing to do is to incorporate and recognize the knowledge on nudge when designing the choice architecture, he is responsible for. According to the pro-nudge position it seems that nudging for his own benefit is always permitted. No one is forcing citizens or limiting their options to choose otherwise.

What are criticisms on the nudge approach?

Criticism of the nudge approach are that people are manipulating choices. It is said that nudging impairs people’s autonomy and ability to make our own moral choices. However, the characterization of nudging as such relies on the theory of agency that people assign to themselves. Policy recommendations that rely on this agency theory and the characterization as manipulation of choice is discussed in this article.

Why is the anti-nudge position not a literal non-starter?

Thaler and Sunstein (2008) describe nudging as the choice architecture that changes people’s behaviour in a way that no other options are forbidden or significantly changing their economic inventive. They argue the anti-nudge position is a literal non-starter because choice architecture may exist without the existence of a “nudger”. They argue that a neutral design of choice architecture does not exist even when the observed effects happened by accident. Even though architects do not intend to nudge towards particular ends, we are nudged to consequential and predictable behaviour even if a choice architect did not mean to. This is according to the position that nudging is a literal non-starter. However, according to the authors it is not. Nudging cannot be justified just because there is no neutral design for it. It is not a literal non-starter for the following reasons:

  • The argument that neutral designs do not exist gives the pro-nudge approach an attractive defence. The argument says that we are always being nudged, regardless of anyone’s attempts. It’s argued that nudges are an inescapable effect of any type of decision making. It is supported by the observation that nudging does not promote behaviour that alters freedom of choice. Also, someone is always able to reject the behavioural change.

  • The condition that is constructed for the literal non-starter is if a neutral design does not exist, this means we are always being nudged. Yet something important is being overlooked here. Someone can both unintentionally or intentionally influence behaviour. The distinction between these is important because of the notion of responsibility. Therefore, a nudge should be described as by Hausman and Welch, that it is the intentional attempt to influence one’s choices.

  • The ends and means of libertarian paternalism means that certain ends and values should be promoted in influencing choices. Policy makers should nudge to promote things in interest of citizens. It seems preferable to any other alternative and serves in the interest of citizens.

  • Finally, the principled freedom to choose differently is an important consideration in the debate. The fact that we have insights in the human fail ability in relation to decision making does not justify any choice intervention. The realistic definition of human agency should be taken into consideration, meaning that people do not always decide according to their reflected preferences. When people are nudged into a certain direction, they might lose the ability to choose otherwise.

Does nudging manipulate freedom of choice?

Nudging is described as the manipulation of choice, not behaviour. Because these concepts are not interchangeable, a further classification of the concept is needed. Therefore, the dual-process theory, actions and causes and types of nudges are discussed.

  • The dual process theory states that the human brain distinct between two ways of human processing. One is intuitive, automatic thinking (fast thinking) and the other is rational, deliberate thinking -or reasoning (slow thinking). Kahneman refers to these two ways of thinking as system I and system II thinking. Automatic thinking is often uncontrolled, effortless, fast, associative, skilled and unconscious. Reflective -and rational thinking has the characteristics of effortful, slow, controlled, rule following and self-aware. The point of the theory is to describe that behaviour can result from either modes of thinking.

  • Actions and causes are often described in terms of state of the world meaning that an agent intentionally wants to bring about. There is an active deliberation that is determined by the available course of action depending on the situation. According to actions and causes a choice comes from the process of reflective thinking. A non-voluntary action is not described as a real action, but only a event that happens to you which was not, but could have been controlled.

  • Two types of nudges, and only one aimed at reflective reasoning or choice. Even though both types of reasoning reflect automatic thinking processes, only one reflects on behaviour changing reflective reasoning. Type I nudges influence how behaviour is maintained by automatic processing without thinking reflectively about the consequences. Type II nudging is nudging to influence actions, behaviours. This is done deliberately by limiting the set of choices for example.

Based on these notions, a new definition of nudging is described: the behavioural influence in a predictable way, without prohibiting courses of action that were previously available, making alternatives costlier in terms of social sanctions and time.

What is the view of Thaler and Sunstein on transparency in nudging theory?

In democratic policy making, the transparency of measures is an important issue. The concepts deliberation, consent, respect and accountability should be considered. It should be clarified to what extend nudging works by manipulating choice or behaviour. Transparency is a measure of guiding principle according to Thaler and Sunstein. They derived it from the publicity principle, which means that the government should be able to protect its citizens. They adopt the principle for two reasons:

  1. The government could be embarrassed if the policy and its grounds are disclosed.

  2. The government should have respect for the people it governs.

The conclusion of Thaler and Sunstein is that this publicity principle is a good guideline. Even though Thaler and Sunstein advocate strong transparency, which means that the government should never be secretive about what they are doing in terms of nudging. Also, they ban subliminal priming as an alternative. Nudging should be manageable and disclosed to the people that are subject to it. However, the principles of subliminal priming are in accord with people’s moral intuitions. This means that it becomes restrictive and may even lead to an ethical paradox when applied to the nudging approach. Thaler and Sunstein also suggest an epistemic dimension of transparency, they argue that nudging is not necessarily about manipulation choices and behaviours but should be divided into transparent and non-transparent. Some choices might be objectionable, they are not visible and impossible to monitor.

  • Transparent nudges are provided in a way that the intentionality and the pursued behavioural change is visible.

  • Non-transparent nudges are nudges where the person is unable to reconstruct the intention of means by which the change in behaviour is constructed.

This notion of epistemic transparency can be used as a criterium for the evaluation whether nudging is a form of manipulation. The psychological sense of manipulation is the intention to change perception, behaviour or choices through deceptive or abusive tactics. The transparency of the nudge can determine its effectiveness. Nudges in the dark tend to be more effective than obvious ones.

What is the effect of nudging on the manipulation of choice?

Given the two types of nudging, transparent vs non-transparent, four different nudges can be distinguished. Some nudges will fall into a grey zone or will be difficult to qualify. However, the matrix is a valuable guide and basis for the typology for different types of nudges. It can also help with policy recommendations.

  1. Transparent type 2 nudges are in the top left corner of the matrix. This intervention type is easy to reconstruct for the citizen. The intentions for the behavioural change are very clear, just as the way the reflective system is engaged. A popular example is the seat-belt alarm in a car.

  2. Transparent type 1 nudges are situated in the bottom-left corner. Reflective thinking does not cause the behavioural change but happens as a side product. This makes it easier to reconstruct the way in which the nudge is used to influence behaviour. An example is playing relaxing music while people are boarding an airplane.  

  3. Non-transparent type 2 nudges are in the matrix at the top-right corner. The success of the nudge depends on the unconscious activation of reflective thinking. People should be unable to reconstruct the incentive of the nudge. Subtle cues are used to activate reflective thinking for making specific choices. One example is the lottery where people start to overestimate the chance of winning.

  4. Non-transparent type 1 nudges in the bottom-right corner resemble nudges that cause changes in behaviour without engaging the reflective thinking system. It is not likely the person will be aware of it and will neither be able to explain or reconstruct the nudge afterwards. One example is an experiment done by Wansink described in “mindless eating”. By reducing the size of plates in a cafeteria to a 10-inch dinner plate instead of a 12-inch one, people ate 22% less calories.

Thus, the facilitation of a consistent choice in a transparent manner is an example of system II thinking. Also, the non-transparent manipulation of choice. System I thinking is the transparent influence of behaviour and the non-transparent equivalent of behaviour.

What is the proposed framework for the responsible use of nudging?

Given the typology for nudging in the previous section, the authors developed a guideline for applying nudging in the creation of policy. It provides a framework based upon which you can decide whether a nudge is manipulative (non-transparent) or based on choice (reflective thinking).

  1. Transparent type 2 nudges are not meant to influence people by psychological manipulation. They are used to promote decision making that can be seen by the citizen. They are in line with the preferences of people and provide feedback. They are facilitating the freedom of choice. The autonomy of people is protected. It can be explained as prompting of reflected choice.

  2. Transparent type 1 nudges do not try to influence people’s choices, they influence automatic behaviour transparently. These nudges do work within the sense of manipulation and influence behaviour. Citizens are not free to ignore the response that the nudge causes. The principle of freedom is there, but most people are not able to ignore the consequences. This is because it works on automated behaviour.

  3. Non-transparent type 1 nudges use psychological and mechanical manipulation. They cannot be regarded transparent or one of choice. They influence automatic behaviour without someone being aware of it. They operate outside of the radar. People can only avoid them by meaning of principle. Therefore, they are paternalistic and described as manipulating behaviour.

  4. Non-transparent type 2 nudges are manipulating choice because it works with psychological manipulation to get people to unconsciously think or act a certain way. It does not influence autonomous decision making and are cases of straightforward paternalism. It is difficult to ascribe the responsibility to decision-makers because their actions are the result of manipulation by the architect of the choice.

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The American Psychological Association’s (APA) Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct - Article

The American Psychological Association’s (APA) Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct - Article

Why is the Ethics Code drafted? 

The American Psychological Association’s (APA’s) formed the Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct (Ethics Code). The Preamble and General Principles are not enforceable rules. The Ethical Standards are enforceable rules. The Ethical Standards are not exhaustive and are written broadly to apply for varied roles. This Ethics Code applies only to psychologists’ activities that are part of their scientific, educational, or professional roles as psychologists. It covers areas like clinical, counseling, school practice etc and applies to a veriety of context, such as in person, postal, by telephone etc. The private conduct of psychologists are not in the purview of the Code. Lack of awareness or misunderstanding of an Ethical Standard is not itself a defense to a charge of unethical conduct and APA may give sanctions when a psychologist doesn't work by the Code. When the sanction to be imposed by APA is less than expulsion, the 2001 Rules and Procedures do not guarantee an opportunity for an in-person hearing, but generally provide that complaints will be resolved only on the basis of a submitted record.


Why is the Ethics Code drafted? 

The American Psychological Association’s (APA’s) formed the Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct (Ethics Code). The Preamble and General Principles are not enforceable rules. The Ethical Standards are enforceable rules. The Ethical Standards are not exhaustive and are written broadly to apply for varied roles. This Ethics Code applies only to psychologists’ activities that are part of their scientific, educational, or professional roles as psychologists. It covers areas like clinical, counseling, school practice etc and applies to a veriety of context, such as in person, postal, by telephone etc. The private conduct of psychologists are not in the purview of the Code. Lack of awareness or misunderstanding of an Ethical Standard is not itself a defense to a charge of unethical conduct and APA may give sanctions when a psychologist doesn't work by the Code. When the sanction to be imposed by APA is less than expulsion, the 2001 Rules and Procedures do not guarantee an opportunity for an in-person hearing, but generally provide that complaints will be resolved only on the basis of a submitted record.

The Ethics Code is intended to provide guidance for psychologists and violating the Ethics Code does not by itself make someone liable for court action or legal consequences. In some Ethics Codes modifiers like reasonably are used, which means it allows professional judgment, it should eliminate injustice or inequality, it ensures applicability across a broad range of actiities and it prevents the Code from becoming rigid rules that can become outdated. 

Reasonable is the prevailing professional judgment of psychologists in similar activities and similar circumstances, given the knowledge the psychologist had or should have had at the time. 

Psychologists try to increase scientific and professional knowledge of people's behavior, to improve the condition of individuals, organizations and society. They respect and protect rights, strive to help development of informed judgments and choices. Therefore psychologists are researchers, educators, diagnosticians, therapists, supervisors, etc. This Ethics Code provides a common set of principles and standards upon which psychologists build their professional and scientific work, to welfare and protect the individuals with whom psychologists work. 

What general principles do we have to live by?

General principles are aspirational in nature. Their intent is to guide and inspire psychologists toward the very highest ethical ideals of the profession. They do not represent obligations and should not form the basis for imposing sanctions. There are five main principles: 

  • Beneficence and nonmaleficence. Psychologists try to help and take care of the people they work with. They try to protect the rights of everyone they work with. Psychologists try to solve conflicts in a responsible way, with the least amount of damage. They are alert to personal, financial, social, organisatoric and political factors. Psychologists strive to be aware of the possible effect of their own physical and mental health on their ability to help those with whom they work.

  • Fidelity and responsibility. Psychologists establish trustworthy work relationships with whom they work. They are aware of their responsibilities, they cooperate with other professionals to serve the best interest of whom they work with. 

  • Integrity. Psychologists try to be accurate, honest and truthfull. They strive to keep promises and avoid unwise commitments and they have the obligation to consider to correct any result of mistrust. 

  • Justice: Psychologists recognize that everyone is entitled to fairness and justice. They contribute to equal quality in the process, procedures and services. They exercise reasonable judgement and take precautions against biases and the limitations of their expertise. 

  • Respect for rights and dignifity. Psychologists respect the dignity and worth of all people, and the rights of individuals to privacy, confidentiality, and self-determination. They respect differences and put in necessary safeguards to protect the rights ot persons who are vulnerable. 

What are the ethical standards? 

Here we define a few main examples of the ethical standards.

Resolving Ethical Issues

  • Psychologists take reasonable steps to correct or minimize the misuse or misrepresentation.

  • If psychologists’ ethical responsibilities conflict with law, they clarify the nature of the conflict, make known their commitment to the Ethics Code, and take reasonable steps to resolve the conflict. This standard may never be used to justify violating human rights.

  • If the demands of an organization with which psychologists works, is in conflict with this Ethics Code, psychologists clarify the nature of the conflict, make known their commitment to the Ethics Code, and take reasonable steps to resolve the conflict. Again this may never be used to justify violating human rights. 

  • Informal Resolution of Ethical Violations. When a psychologists believes that another violates the ethical code, they bring it to the attention to that individual and  if possible they try to informally resolve the issue appropriatly. 

  • Reporting Ethical Violations. If an apparent ethical violation has substantially harmed or is likely to substantially harm a person and the violation is not appropriate for informal resolution or is not resolved properly psychologists take further action, like referral to the state, licensing boards. This standard doesn't apply when an intervention itself would violate rights. 

  • Cooperating With Ethics Committees. Psychologists cooperate in ethics investigations, proceedings, and resulting requirements of the APA or any affiliated state psychological association to which they belong. Failure to cooperate is itself an ethics violation. 

  • Improper Complaints. Psychologists do not file ethics complaints that are made reckless or with willful ignorance of facts that would disprove the allegation.

  • Unfair Discrimination Against Complainants and Respondents. Psychologists do not deny persons employment, advancement, based solely upon their having made or their being the subject of an ethics complaint. 

Competence

  • Psychologists provide services, teach, and conduct research in areas only within their competence. If the scientific or professional knowledge establishes that understanding of certain factors, like age or gender is essential for effective implementation of research, psychologists have to obtain training, experience or consulation to ensure the competence or they must make a referral. When planning to provide a new service, they must take relevant training. When a specific service is asked, one no one is trained for, the psychologists with closely related prior training may provide such service, to ensure the service will not be denied. This psychologist must take effort to obtain the required competence. When assuming forensic roles, a psychologist must be familiar with judical rules. 

  • Providing services in emergencies. Psychologists may provide services necessary, when they haven't had the necessary training, only until the emergency has ended or the appropriate services are available. 

  • Maintaining Competence by developing. 

  • Base the work on Scientific and Professional Judgments. 

  • Delegation of work to others. When delegating work to employees or supervisees, a psychologist must avoid a loss of objectivity by a multiple relationship, they must authorize only those responsibilities they are competent to have. 

  • Personal Problems and conflicts. When a psychologist can guess that a personal problem will prevent him from performing, he will refrain from the activity. When a psychologist becomes aware of a personal problem, they take appropriate measures. 

Human Relations

  • Psychologists do not engage in unfair discrimination
  • Psychologists do not engage in sexual harassment.

  • Psychologists do not knowingly engage in harassing behavior or behavior that is demeaning to persons with whom they interact in their work

  • Psychologists take reasonable steps to avoid harming their clients and to minimize harm when the harm is forseeable and unavoidable. 

  • A psychologist avoids being in multiple relationships. A multiple relationship occurs when a psychologist is both in a professional relation and in another role with the same person or when he becomes closely associated to the person or when he promises to enter into another relationship in the future. When a multiple relationship is not expected to cause a risk, is not unethical. If it does become harmful, the psychologist must take steps to resolve it. When a psychologist is required by law to serve in one or more roles, he needs to clarify the role expectations and the extent of confidentiality. 

  • Conflict of Interest. Psychologists prevent to take a professional role when personal, scientific, legal or other interest could be expected to impair the objectivity or competence or when the role will expose the person to harm or exploitation. 

  • Exploitative Relationships. Psychologists do not exploit persons over whom they have supervisory, evaluative, or other authority

  • Cooperation With Other Professionals. When needed, psychologists cooperate with other professionals to serve their client effectively. 

  • Informed Consent. When psychologists conducts research  they obtain the informed consent of the individual, using language that is reasonably understandable.

Privacy and confidentiality

  • Maintaining Confidentiality. Psychologists take reasonable precautions to protect information. The extent and limits of confidentiality may be regulated by law

  • Discussing the Limits of Confidentiality. 

  • Recording. Before recording individuals, psychologists have to ged permission from their client or legal representative.

  • Minimizing Intrusions on Privacy. Psychologists include in reports and consultations, only information needed to the purpose for which the communication is made. They discuss confidential information only with people concerned with such matter. 

  • Consultations. When consulting with colleagues, psychologists do not disclose confidential information that reasonably could lead to the identification of a client. They disclose only necessary information

  • Use of Confidential Information for Didactic or Other Purposes. Psychologists do not disclose in their writings, lectures, or other public media, unless they take reasonable steps to disguise the person or organization or the person has consented or there is legal authorization for doing so.

Assessment

  • Bases for Assessments. Psychologists base the opinions contained in their recommendations, reports, and diagnostic or evaluative statements, including forensic testimony, on information and techniques sufficient to substantiate their findings.

  • Use of Assessments. Psychologists administer, adapt, score, interpret, or use assessment techniques for purposes that are appropriate in light of the research on or evidence of the usefulness and proper application of the techniques.They use assessment instruments whose validity and reliability have been established and that are appropriate to an individual’s language preference and competence, unless the use of an alternative language is relevant to the assessment issues.

  • Release of Test Data. Psychologists provide test data to the client/ patient or other persons identified in the release. They may refrain from releasing test data to protect a clientfrom substantial harm or misuse or misrepresentation of the data or the test,

  • Interpreting Assessment Results. When interpreting assessment results, psychologists take into account the purpose of the assessment as well as the various test factors

  • Assessment by Unqualified Persons. Psychologists do not promote the use of psychological assessment techniques by unqualified persons.

  • Test Scoring and Interpretation Services. Psychologists who offer assessment or scoring services to other professionals accurately describe the purpose, norms, validity, reliability, and applications of the procedures and any special qualifications applicable to their use. 

Therapy 

  • Informed Consent to Therapy: A psychologist must inform the client as early as possible about the nature of the therapy, the fees, involvement, limits etc. When the treatment is not generally recognized, the client must be informed about the risks, alternatives and voluntary nature of the participation. When a therapist is a trainee and under supervision, he must inform the client that the therapist is in training and must be given the name of the supervisor. 

  • Therapy Involving Couples or Families. When several persons participate in a therapy, a psychologists must clarify which clients participate and what the relationship is with the psychologist. When the psychologist gets conflicting roles, he must clarify and modify the therapy of he must withdraw frome a role. 

  • Group Therapy. When a psychologist provides service in a group setting, they must describe the roles and responsibilities of all parties and the limits of confidentiality.

  • Providing Therapy to Those Served by Others. A psychology must careful consider treatment issues when he also provides from services elsewhere. A psychologist must discuss issues with the client, to minimize the risk of confusion and conflict. 

  • Sexual Intimacies With Current Therapy Clients and relatives. Psychologists do not engage in sexual intimacies with current clients, their relatives or significant others. Psychologists do not terminate therapy to circumvent this standard.

  • Therapy With Former Sexual Partners. Psychologists do not accept as therapy clients persons with whom they have engaged in sexual intimacies.

  • Sexual Intimacies With Former Therapy Clients. Psychologists do not engage in sexual intimacies with former clients for at least two years and not after that exept for unusual circumstances. If they do, they must demonstrate that there has been no exploitation in light of all relevant factors. 

  • Interruption of Therapy. When starting a therapy, psychologists make reasonable efforts for appropriate resolution of responsibility for client care when the contractual relationship ends. They must give consideration to the welfare of the client.

  • Terminating Therapy. Psychologists terminate therapy when the client no longer needs the service, when he doesn't benefit or when continuing the treatment harms the client. Treatment can also be terminated when the psychologists is threatened or endangered. When terminating the therapy, the psychologist must provide pretermination counseling and suggest alternative service providers as appropriate.

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Code of Ethics (Dutch ethical guidelines for psychologists) 2015 - NIP - Article

Code of Ethics (Dutch ethical guidelines for psychologists) 2015 - NIP - Article

What does the code of ethics consist of?

We will discuss the code of ethics for psychologists, written by the Dutch Institute for Psychologists (NIP). All psychologists who are registered at the NIP need to conform to this code of ethics. The code of ethics is a framework, based on national an international legislation, like the European convention on Human Rights. There are four principles of the code of ethics: responsibility, integrity, expertise and respect. The principle responsibility forms the basis, but none of the four principles are more important than the others. A psychologist is responsible for it's own actions and should therefore be able to justify his/her actions. Being a psychologist is a professional profession and consists of four elements: expertise, the social role, the professional standard and ethics. Expertise consists of the knowledge and ability of the psychologist. The social role is the acknowlegdement of this expertise, in such way that this expertise can be applied in practice. The professional standard consists of acting in a professional way, as other colleagues would do in the same situation. Ethics consist of the norms and values which are used in this professional standard. The NIP tries to professionalize psychology through these aspects.


What does the code of ethics consist of?

We will discuss the code of ethics for psychologists, written by the Dutch Institute for Psychologists (NIP). All psychologists who are registered at the NIP need to conform to this code of ethics. The code of ethics is a framework, based on national an international legislation, like the European convention on Human Rights. There are four principles of the code of ethics: responsibility, integrity, expertise and respect. The principle responsibility forms the basis, but none of the four principles are more important than the others. A psychologist is responsible for it's own actions and should therefore be able to justify his/her actions. Being a psychologist is a professional profession and consists of four elements: expertise, the social role, the professional standard and ethics. Expertise consists of the knowledge and ability of the psychologist. The social role is the acknowlegdement of this expertise, in such way that this expertise can be applied in practice. The professional standard consists of acting in a professional way, as other colleagues would do in the same situation. Ethics consist of the norms and values which are used in this professional standard. The NIP tries to professionalize psychology through these aspects.

The ideas about what is ethical and what is not keep changing, that is why the code of ethics is often adjusted. It has been agreed that these adjustments will not take place more than once every five years, though an explanation may be added to the code, which may contain some minor changes. The four principles of the NIP are first elaborated in a general way in the code of ethics, and then they are elaborated in a more specific way. The general rules are guidelines, in such a way that psychologists know how to act professionaly. To check whether someone conforms to the code of ethics, the specific rules are written: to test someone in a more concrete way. Namely, one of the functions of the code of ethics is to be a criterion to test the professional behaviour of psychologists. A second function is to offer guidelines for ethical decisions psychologists need to make during their work. Lastly, the code of ethics serves as a guide, in which clients can look up all their questions concerning the work of psychologists. In the latest version of the code of ethics, extra attention has therefore been given to clearly writing out the articles, which makes them more readable and easier to understand for everyone. We will now discuss the four principles of the code of ethics.

What does the principle responsibility consist of?

The first principle, responsibility, consists of six aspects:

  1. The first aspect is the quality of acting professionaly. This means that the psychologist should act thoughtful and should not perform behaviour that may damage his/her reliance. Also, his/her professional conduct must be of good quality, whereby he adheres to ethical norms and is careful with trying out new methods.

  2. The second aspect is the continuity of acting professionaly. This means the psychologist is during the whole treatment responsible for the client and also responsible for the potential transfer of the client. This also means that the psychologist is responsible for the client's dossier. All these responsibilities don't immediately when the professional relationship between psychologist and client ends.

  3. The third aspect is the prevention and limitation of harm, by exposing the client as little as possible to bad experiences. When a psychologist says something about a person on television or through social media, it is expected that he/she takes the possible harm for this person into account and tries to limit this harm as much as possible. However, the psychologist does not need to ask permission from the person before making statements in the media. In addition, a psychologist is directly responsible when he/she is testing people without their permission. Also, the psychologist should realise that his/her treatment may have bad indirect consequences. This third aspect also included minimising the use of animal testing, when conducting experiments.

  4. The fourth aspect is to prevent misuse. The main thing in this aspect is that the psychologist does everything he can to ensure that dossiers and reports prepared by him/her, are not being misused.

  5. The fifth aspect, the work environment of the psychologist, prescribes the guidelines for a collegiate environment. The psychologist himself is responsible for his own work and qualities. However, the psychologist also bears joint responsibility for his team and the qualities of his team. Within a team, psychologists should help eachother, but must also be open for discussion about their own acting. In addition, a psychologist is responsible for the ethical and technical qualities of the people working under his leadership.
  6. The sixth and last aspect, accountability, says that a psychologist should be able to account for his own handling through dossiers and files. When a complaint is made against him, he is expected to cooperate as well as possible. The psychologist may use the dossier when defending this complaint.

What does the principle integrity consist of?

The second principle, integrity, consists of three aspects:

  1. The first aspect is reliability, which means that the psychologist only has a professional relationship with the client, when this is ethically and professionaly justified. In addition, does this mean that it is being discussed when this relationship with the client will be ended. Lastly, this means that the psychologist acts in an objective and independent way and will not help others, who do things that go against the code of ethics.

  2. The second aspect is honesy, which means that the psychologist does not mislead people and does not create unrealistic expectancies about his/her treatments. Moreover, he must be honest about the financial costs. This also means that he/she should nog misuse his/her knowledge and should always carefully (statistically) process and analyze it. The psychologist should always be honest about his education and experience, and inform it's clients about alternative treatments. This second aspect also includes the obligation to report sources in articles or presentations.

  3. The third aspect is role integrity, which means that the psychologist does not let his/her personal interests in matters of affairs, religion and politics play a role in his/her work. The psychologist must try to prevent him/her to play multiple roles for clients, for example when he sees a client outside of his/her job. Role integrity also includes that a psychologist does not enters a personal (sexual) relationship with a client and does not exhibit sexual behaviour towards the client. Also, a psychologist must acknowledge that the interests of the client and other involved parties might sometimes be incompatible, and that it is sometimes for the best to not accept assignments that are incompatible.

What does the principle respect consist of?

The third principle, respect, consists of five aspects:

  1. The first aspect is general respect, which means that the psychologist respects the knowledge, experience and insight of the person concerned. Also, a psychologist may not interfere with someone's private life more than necessary and must ensure that the dignity of people is not affected. The psychologist must focus on the individual client and his characteristics. This also includes that the psychologist may not discriminate anyone.

  2. The second aspect is autonomy and self-determination. This means that the client is always able to end the relationship with the psychologist. When the self-determination of a client is limited, should the psychologist give him/her as much autonomy as possible. Also, the psychologist need to have permission from the client to work together and the client must be well informed about the treatment. The client can also indicate what he would like and he/she may also view his/her own dossier. The client is also able to comment on the dossier, insist to remove aspects in the dossier and is even able to submit a request to remove the entire file. This rule does not apply when the client has submitted a complaint, because then the psychologist is entitled to use the dossier in his defence. When third parties wish to few the file, permission from the client is required, unless these third parties have the right by law to view the dossier.

  3. The third aspect is confidentiality, which means that the psychologist is required to maintain confidentiality. The psychologist needs to handle his own knowledge with care and, without permission, not pass it on to third parties. This confidentiality may only be broken when otherwise there might be direct danger for other people. When the psychologist already expects this situation to arise, he must tell the client that he will break the confidentiality obligation when the situation actually arises. If a psychologist in court has to answer questions that are in contradition with confidentiality, he may invoke the right to exuse him and therefore does not need to give an answer.

  4. The fourth aspect is data provision, which includes the distribution of information from the dossier and giving a professional opinion by the psychologist. In the first instance, this is only allowed when the psychologist has received permission from the client. When a psychologist is legally obliged to provide data, the client does not have to give permission for this. The psychologist may provide information to researchers, but only in a way that the identity of the client can not be traced. This also applies to providing information for publications and education.

  5. The fifth aspect is reporting. The (written) report is dicussed with the client and when the client finds errors, the psychologist must adjust this or remove this from the report. When the psychologist wants to share the report with a third party, the client is given an opportunity to view the report in advance. Moreover, the client has the blocking right, which means that he has the right to withhold reporting to an external client. This right does not apply if the blocking right is not permitted by law.

What does the principle expertise consist of?

The fourth ans last principle, expertise, consists of three aspects:

  1. The first aspect of expertise is ethical reflection, which means that the psychologist must be aware of the ethical aspects and legal provisions. Also, the psychologist must critically think about his actions and his own norms and values.

  2. The second aspect is professional competence, which means that the psychologist is professional competence and continues to develop his expertise through literature and further training. Professional competence also includes that the psychologist uses effective methods.

  3. The last aspect of expertise is the limit of professional conduct. This means that the psychologist knows what he is capable of and does not accept assignments that could be outside his own capability. When he does have an hard assignment, he must call in help himself. Also, the psychologist only uses methods that he may use due to his education. In addition, the psychologist must always be able to justify his actions, through his reports. The psychologist should prevent himself from getting psychical or physical complaints, which may result in him acting less well. Nevertheless, if he does receive these complaints, he must temporarily put down his work.

What are possible special circumstances?

The code of ethics is not a manual that can determine what is best to do in every situation. The best thing to do is to look at each situation specific, especially when two guidelines contradict eachother and cause an ethical dilemma. If two rules cannot be followed at the same time, the pscyhologist should weigh up the consequences of the choices between the two. In some cases, the psychologist needs to deviate from the code of ethics, even though there are no conflicting rules, and then he has to consult the professional association or an outsider (a collegue). A decision that deviates from the code of ethics must be grounded. Sometimes the law may require a psychologist to deviate from the code of ethics, in that case he must adhere to the other rules of the code of ethics as much as possible.

How does the code of ethics apply to under-aged children?

When a client hasn't reached the age of 16 years yet, or is older than 16 years old but is not capable of self-determination, his/her legal representatives have the rights described in the professional code. When a client is 12 years or older, he/she must be involved in these rights as much as possible.

What does the complaints procedure consist of?

If a NIP-registered psychologist does not comply with the professional code, someone is able to submit a complaint agains him/her. The complaints procedure is recorded in the Regulations for Supervision of the NIP. The complaint will at first be handled by the Board of Supervision and appeals will be made to the Board of Appeal. When a complaint is justified, the psychologist can be punishes in four different ways. The first is a warning and the second is a reprimand, a somewhat stricter warning. The third way is to temporarily suspend the psychologist, for a maximum of two years. In this case the psychologist will not longer be a member of the NIP. The fourth and highest punishment is to end the membership of the NIP. The psychologist therefore may never again become a member of the NIP. The Board of Supervision and the Board of Appeal both have the same possibilites regarding punishments, but both do not have the power to fire the psychologist.

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The agony of ambivalence and ways to resolve it: Introducing the MAID model - van Harreveld, van der Pligt & de Liver (2009) - Article

The agony of ambivalence and ways to resolve it: Introducing the MAID model - van Harreveld, van der Pligt & de Liver (2009) - Article


What is ambivalence? 

Before making a decision, you get a lot of information, which often is incongruent. Then you experience ambivalence. Previous reviews on ambivalence emphasized definitional issues of ambivalence and the relationship with dimensions of attitude strength. In this article, they focus on the affective, cognitive, and behavioral consequences of ambivalence.

What is attitudinal ambivalence? 

Bipolar measures of attitude have an inherent limitation. Common bipolar measures of attitude do not distinguish between people who are torn between the choices and people who don't care. This is the bipolair problem. Measuring attitudes is mostly done by bipolair measures. Such measures represent attitudes by means of a unidimensional evaluative continuum and usually present participants with two words that are reciprocally related, such as weak versus strong. Bipolar measures of attitude are ubiquitous. However, such a unidimensional continuum does not allow for distinguishing ambivalent attitudes from indifferent ones because both attitudes can be expressed only by ticking the “neutral” midpoint of the bipolar scale. Ambivalence doesn't mean that you do not have an oppinion, but that you have two or more options, you can not choose between. Kaplan (1972) was the first to distinguish between ambivalence and indifference. People who have both strong positive and negative feelings are ambivalent. People who have weak positive and negative feelings, are indifferent. The work of Cacioppo and colleagues showed that positive and negative evaluations are stochastically and functionally independent, and they argued that attitudes should be represented by a bivariate space rather than a bipolar continuum. 

Research distinguishes between potential ambivalence and felt ambivalence. Potential ambivalence is when you are still unaware and this can be related to the PAST model (i.e., “prior attitudes are still there” model). This model argued that for attitude change, there can be conflict between a newly endorsed attitude and an older rejected attitude. This model says that ambivalence can be implicit. When you are aware of the ambivalence, it is felt ambivalence. Felt ambivalence is about the  psychological discomfort resulting from conflicting beliefs or feelings. Another distinction is when affect and cognition are in conflict with each other, one speaks of intercomponent ambivalence or affective–cognitive ambivalence. 

Is ambivalence uncomfortable? 

A few studies tried to provide evidence that ambivalence can be associated with discomfort. One argument is that being made aware of one's incompatable beliefs should generate psychological discomfort. Racial ambivalence was found to be related to a more negative mood. A different conclusion was that there is a negative relation between ambivalence in a group and psychological arousal. 

When is ambivalence associated with discomfort? 

Ambivalence is only associated with discomfort when both positive and negative components are simultaneously accessible. It only is discomfortable when you become aware of the inner conflict. It also depends on contextual factors. For example, racial ambivalence is primarily salient in an intergroup context. People who identify strongly with their in-group, are motivated to maintain their social identity. Therefore they will negatively evaluate a salient outgroup, even though they're ambivalent attitude holders. When you are not strongly identified with the group, there is less discomfort. 

The discomfort of ambivalence is the greatest for people who are high in preference for consistency. An adapted Implicit Association Task was used to measure the response time in ambivalent attitudes, with which they found that when an ambivalent attitude object is preceded by a positive or negative prime, the attitudes become more accessable then with neutral primes. This is most likely  because the prime facilitates one of the two evaluative responses that are at the core of the ambivalent attitude. A neutral prime doesn't. 

Why is ambivalence unpleasant? 

People prefer attitudes to be in accordance with each other. The self-discrepancy theory explains that ambivalent attitude holders are confonted with a discrepancy between the attitude they experience and the attitude they want to experience. This likely leads to unwanted affective responses. There is however a difference between dissonance and ambivalence: an ambivalent attitude holder has not yet commited by making a choice between the opposing beliefs. In dissonance, you commit to behavoir that is in conflict with your attitude. This is a difference between judgment and choice, a difference in the level of commitment. 

Does it matter if you have to choose? 

The mere anticipation of commitment can already lead to feelings of conflict. Conflict between values can lead to a negative affect. When you don't have to choose, the commitment can remain low, so there is less discomfort even when you feel ambivalent. A person will feel discomfort as long as they have a choice with conflicting evaluations, which they try to integrate in to one goal. When you only have to evaluate the conflicting beliefs, you feel less discomfort then when you have to make a decision based on the ambivalent beliefs. 

When does choosing help? 

To get rid of the unpleasant feeling, you have to achieve the integration goal. You can do that by making a choice. The cognitive dissonance theory sais that ambivalent attitude holders bring their attitude in accordance with their choice. They develop an attitude after making the decision. Unfortunately, choosing is not enough. It is not the choice itself that reduces ambivalence but the cognitive processes that are associated with it. You need to cognitively elaborate. Study shows that cognitive load during activation leads to lower levels of ambivalence. Cognitive load during evaluation, however, leads to higher levels of ambivalence. During activation, cognitive load curtails the development of an ambivalent attitude structure because the conflicting information is not processed thoroughly enough. During evaluation, cognitive load hinders the process of ambivalence reduction, thereby leading to relatively high levels of ambivalence when compared to the control group.

What is the importance of the anticipated consequences? 

People experience dissonance when they feel responsible for negative consequences of their behavior. Ambivalent attitude holders make a choice based on the possible positive and negative outcomes. Especially negative potential consequences are anticipated, they generally tend to loom larger than the positive ones and negative thoughts carry more weight. When a ambivalent attitude holder remains on the fence, he doesn't have to think about the potential consequences, so the feelings of uncertainty are less. For ambivalent attitude holders who have to make a discrete choice, the relation between ambivalence and physiological arousal is fully mediated by uncertainty about the possible consequences.

Which emotions are most important in the decision making? 

Emotions such as guilt, disappointment, and fear might play a role, but regret is the most directly associated emotion. Regret is a consequence of a decision and it tends to involve a sense of responsibility for the choice. After making a decision, people focus on the unfavorable aspects of the chosen alternative and on the desirable aspect of the other alternative. The experience of regret is related to postdecisional dissonance. Ambivalent attitude holders most likely have the anticipation of regret. Besides, study shows that actions tend to lead to more regret than inaction. Last, regret is an important factor because avoiding to make a decision is a much used coping mechanism for difficult decision, because of the anticipation of regret. 

How do you deal with ambivalence? 

Mostly, ambivalent attitude holders try to tip the balance in one direction to solve the ambivalence. The dissonance theory assumes that people prefer that their attitutes are congruent with their behavior. With an aversive ambivalence, the congruence doesn't refer to attitude and behavior, but to preference for evaluatively congruent beliefs. There are two basic forms of coping with the negative feelings. 

What is Emotion-Focused Coping?

An aversive task can lead to avoidant behavior. Procrastination is related to thoughts about how things could have been better, which is the basis of regret. Avoiding decision making is a succesful way to reduce negative affect. The opportunity to choose an avoidant option mitigates the intensity of emotions. The more emotions are paired with the decision making, the more likely someone is to avoid it. Avoiding the decision making results in less retrospective negative emotion. 

Besides avoiding, another emotionfocues coping strategy is redefining the situation. This can be done by denial of the responsibility. When there is no feeling of responsibility, there can be no feeling of regret. Denying responsibility for the decision may be an effective way to reduce anticipated regret. One way is to convince yourself that it is impossible to resist one type of behavior, for example because of peer pressure. 

What is Problem-Focused Coping?

Avoiding a decision or denying responsibility for this decision is not always possible. A problem-focused coping strategy is to invest effort into making a decision, to increase confidence about your choice. You can change your attitude to minimize the ambivalence. You can do this by actively searching for new cognitions. Ambivalent attitude holders are motivated to process information more thoroughly than less ambivalent attitude holders. Problem-focused coping strategies involve efforts to make the best choice and that ambivalence is related to thorough, systematic processing of information, weighing both sides of the issue.

A less effortful form of problem-focused coping is biased systematic processing. Unbiased systematic processing involves both positive and negative thouths, which need to be integrated. Study suggests that ambivalent attitude holers are more likely to engage in unbiased processing, but also biased processing occurs. The more difficult the decision is, the more prone people are to biased processing. Also, people who are low in tolerance for ambiguity, ofthen take a one-sided approach in information gathering. 

What coping do people choose? 

Which coping someone uses depends on the motivation and the ability. Decision makers have two goals, minimizing the cognitive effort and maximizing the accuracy. The first probably has the upper hand, so they use the emotion-focused coping. When decision is unavoidable, people use the problem-focused coping, but it mostly is paired with anticipated regret. People are flexible in choosing a coping strategy, depending on the results of one coping strategy, they can switch to another. 

What is MAID?

Maid is the Model of Ambivalence-Induces Discomfort, which combines the insights of the ambivalence induced comfort and the coping strategy people use. MAID contains a number of steps. See the model in the article for the routes you can take. 

  1. Does a dichotomous choice need to be made? Without a dichotomous choice, potential ambivalence is less likely to result in high levels of felt ambivalence
  2. Feelings of uncertainty about the outcomes of a decision, which consist of negative anticipated affective responses, such as regret. 
  3. If possible, procrastination will occur. If not, more effort needs to be invested in making a decision.
  4. How are the feelings of anticipated regret reduced? One can deny responsibility, if that works, he will have less anticipated regret. 
  5. If responsibility is undeniable, and regret is still anticipated, ambivalent attitude holders are motivated to invest time and effort in trying to make the best possible choice.

With sufficient cognittive resources, people will engage in high-effort unbiased systematic processing, but with restricted cognitive resources, people will rely on the low effort route. People thus are flexible in coping with ambivalenceinduced discomfort. 

MAID illustrates that ambivalence is a dynamic process, with ambivalent attitude holders often going through different behavioral and psychological stages that can help them make ambivalence more bearable or, in other cases, eventually lead them to acquire evaluative congruence.

What did they conclude? 

When positive and negative thoughts occur at the same time, both the positive and negative attitude components are activated and that can lead to evaluative conflict or attitudinal ambivalence. Ambivalence can be unpleasant, because when you have to make a choice, both positive and negative thoughts are conflicting. The unpleasant feeling is mainly due to uncertainty about the outcome. We mainly fear the feeling of regret. Ambivalence may be desirable when you don't have to make a choice, being ambivalent is then seen as being fair and knowledgeable. Reducing ambivalence can be done by procrastination, denial of responsibility, unbiased and biased systematic processing, and heuristic processing as the most likely strategies. The MAID shows which coping strategie is most likely.

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Purpose in life as a system that creates and sustains health and well-being: An integrative, testable theory - McKnight & Kashdan (2009) - Article

Purpose in life as a system that creates and sustains health and well-being: An integrative, testable theory - McKnight & Kashdan (2009) - Article


What do volunteer services, social support, pet care, and religious attendance have in common?

Recent studies indicate that people participating in these activities live longer than those who do not. Purpose may link these behaviors. In this article, they hypothesize that purpose leads to longer life span, fewer health care problems, and greater life satisfaction. It is an important predictive variable of physical health and mental health. 

What Is Purpose?

Purpose directs life goals and daily decisions by guiding the use of finite personal resources. Purpose offers direction. Living in accord with one’s purpose offers that person a self-sustaining source of meaning through goal pursuit and goal attainment. It is woven in a person's identity and behavior. It helps organize several areas of research of many disciplins. 

What is the difference between purpose and relgion and meaning? 

All three concepts are about personal agency, a view of behavioral action and attribution. The difference is that purpose is not essential to well-being. A person can be healty for genetic reasons, without purpose having anything to do with that. Besides, religious faith is not necessary purpose. Purpose can serve as an outcome of faith, so you will act in accord with the religious teachings, but purpose can also come from nonfaith bases, such as goodwill. Also, purpose gives a sense of meaning that may not always be recognizable nor easily articulated. Finally, purpose is not a mere product of faith, meaning, or personal agency. Meaning probably drives the development of purpose, but once a purpose is developed, it drives the meaning. 

What is the difference between purpose and goals? 

Goals ar more precise in their influence of priximal behaviors. Purpose provides a broader motivational component that stimulates goals and influences behavior. It motivates people to be goal orented. Another difference is that goasl have terminal outcomes, purposes don't have to have these. Purpose mostly seems to be the supraordinate goal manager. Goals, therefore, are central to and are produced by purpose.

What are the three dimensions of purpose? 

Purpose lies along a three-dimensional continuum, consisting of: 

  • Scope, which refers to how central the purpose is in a person’s life, how much it influences the actions, thoughts and emotions. A purpose with a broad scope will be less organized but also influence a greater range of behaviors across a wider context.
  • Strength may be described best as the tendency for the purpose to influence. A strong purpose influences the relevant behaviors a lot. The more central a purpose is in a person’s life and the more that purpose influences the actions, thoughts, and emotions of that person, the more likely that person will benefit from having that purpose. 
  • Awareness is the extent to which a person is aware and can articulate her purpose.

Scope and strength relate to awareness by influencing the cognitive load. Awareness decreases cognitive load by integrating motivation and behavior into a person’s cognitive architectural framework. When a person is not aware of a purpose but still influenced by that purpose, there exists greater cognitive load and less efficient resource allocation.

What if you pursue multiple purposes? 

To a point, having multiple purposes can be benificial. Shifting between purposes facilitates the ongoing pursuit of purposeful living. Too many purposes lead to constant switching, which can not lead to any progress.  

A purpose that is consistent with wellestablished social values tends to produce intermediate goals that become easier to accomplish over time. Even though there may be intermittent conflict with external forces, goal-related progress and achievement is generally facilitated and rewarded by society. Social acceptance of purposes likely affects the person who lives for the purpose by imposing or reducing barriers. When barriers are increased, we expect people to experience far greater stress when pursuing a purpose. Those without a purpose might find other activities or pursuits to satisfy them if the resistance gets too great.

What is the social psychological view on purpose? 

The self-determination theory suggests that satisfying feelings of autonomy, competence, and relatedness are essential to facilitate personal development and psychological well-being. It helps explain why personal strivings may have differential influences on well-being. The benefits of striving are compromised when a person feels controlled by external or internal pressures (e.g., caregiver wishes, guilt), ill-equipped to be successful, or unsupported by others. Many SDT researchers refer to self-concordant strivings as the optimal framework for pursuing desired life aims. Self-concordant strivings are defined as the “extent to which people pursue their set of personal goals with intrinsic interest and identity congruence rather than with feelings of introjected guilt and external compulsion”

Terror management theory provides a different motivational framework that focuses on the inevitability of death. Attempts to cope with this existential dread leads to an indulgence in dominant cultural ideas, symbols, and behaviors to ward off anxiety. People develop and pursue goals, meaning, and growth opportunities to avoid death-related anxiety.

Purpose does not seem to be reducible to either SDT or TMT. The development and pursuit of purpose can certainly be influenced by the ingredients inherent to SDT or TMT but until evidence suggests otherwise, we are proponents of equifinality— purpose can be the end state of numerous motivations and developmental pathways. As discussed previously, we also do not believe purpose is reducible to other singular motives such as needs. The inclusion of purposeful living as an explanatory variable in facilitating particular actions is best viewed as a complement in the hierarchical structure of self-regulation and personality (for a similar viewpoint, see Little, Salemla-Aro, & Phillips, 2007). Lastly, we emphasize that purpose offers an incremental contribution to both SDT and TMT. Both SDT and TMT probably offer better short-term, proximal predictions, as compared with our theory of purpose. 

What is the evolution scientific view on purpose? 

Resource allocation involves the distribution of scarce resources (e.g., energy) to important processes. Organisms thrive when they adapt to changing environmental conditions and perish when they fail to adapt. Purpose may provide the causal force for efficient resource allocation.

What is the behavioral economics view on purpose? 

Efficient resource allocation from an economist’s standpoint is parallel to the theory of comparative advantage with nations, which stipulates that optimal resource allocation comes from a country producing goods that are most efficiently produced by that country and importing goods that are most efficiently produced elsewhere. Purpose may be a manager’s most powerful tool to get workers to operate at peak efficiency. 

What is the psychoneuroimmunology view on purpose? 

Purpose ought to serve as a buffer in stressful times. The psychoneuroimmunology literature suggests that chronic stress reduces immune response. Unpredictable and uncontrollable events ought to be maximally stressful for those behaving without the luxury of a central, motivating life aim. Purpose leads to a surplus of resources to protect against threats to immune response. 

What is the role of purpose in emotion? 

A person pursuing a purpose may often find obstacles to purpose-consistent behaviors. Emotional instability interferes with goal pursuit.

Can purpose buffer the impact of extreme stress in terms of resilience or speedier recovery?

A person’s framework for understanding the world, other people, and the self are disrupted after traumatic experiences. People try to reconstruct their knowledge structures. Resilience tends to be the most common trajectory in the aftermath of traumatic events. That is minor stress reactions followed by a quick return to normal functioning. Purpose is one, but not the only, potential explanation for how people can become resilient.  Flexible use of various coping strategies to meet particular situational demands predicts resilience. Purpose mandates flexibility and offers an overarching framework by which to predict and understand stress responses. 

What are the consequences of purposeful living?

Physical and mental health seems to be an outcome influenced by purpose, but there is no direct empirical evidence for this. Physical health benefits come from more active, healthier lifestyles. Mental health benefits come from a “buffer” against life circumstances that often lead to mental health problems. When a person is dedicated to a purpose, he ought to be more prone to show behavior that is consistent. If you have a purpose, this makes the chance at a disorder smaller, because a disorder would derive from the wanted outcome. Purposeful activities often require exercising character strengths such as courage and justice that result in challenges against other people or established norms. These stressful activities serve as substantial contributors to an engaging and meaningful life.When people engage in self-determined, satisfying experiences, they increase their endurance during challenging activities. 

What are essential elements of purpose? 

  • Purpose stimulates beharioral consistency, it is a motivation to overcome obstacles and to seek alternative means. 
  • Purpose generates appetitively motivated behaviors. The bigger the appetitive motivation, the stronger the purpose
  • Purpose stimulates psycholigical flexibility. People find ways to avoid problems by being flexible to manage their environment. 
  • Purpose fosters efficient resource allocation and it leads to more productive cognitive, behavioral and physiological activity. 
  • Purpose involves a higher level cognitive process, driven by the cerebral cortex. It is different from primal motivations. 
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Materialistic values and goals - Kasser (2016) - Article

Materialistic values and goals - Kasser (2016) - Article


How do we measure and conceptualize materialism? 

Most empirical research on materialism measure materialism as a value that reflects the extent to which an individual believes that it is important to acquire money and possessions, as well as to strive for the related aims of an appealing image and high status/popularity, both of which are frequently expressed via money and possessions. Probably the most widely used device to assess materialism at a dispositional level is Richins & Dawson’s (1992) Material Values Scale. The MVS consists of three subscales: the centrality of acquisition to a person’s life, the beliefs that acquisition provides happiness and signifies success.

How does dispositional materialism correlate? 

The pattern of materialism’s relationships to other psychological constructs should depend on whether materialism is compatible or in conflict with those other constructs. Materialism should correlate positively with experiences, attitudes, and behaviors relevant to amassing wealth and possessions, to being concerned about image and popularity, and to pursuing hedonistic pleasures, as these aims are relatively consistent withmaterialistic values and goals and it should correlate negatively with  experiences, attitudes, and behaviors relevant to prosocial, community, and other self-transcendent concerns, and, perhaps to a lesser extent, with personal growth/self-acceptance strivings, as these aims stand in relative conflict with materialistic pursuits. 

What is the correlation of materialism with financial and consumption attitudes? 

The priority people place on materialism should be positively associated with consuming at high rates. Individuals who prioritize materialistic values/goals are rather “loose” with their money, as they have worse money management skills and more gambling problems and compulsive consumption problems. Materialism seems to be associated with difficulty holding back one’s desires to buy stuff. Status concerns are also notable in the motives of people scoring high in materialism, as such individuals typically report wanting to make money for reasons such as to have a house and cars that are better than those of their neighbors. 

What is the correlation of materialism with social attitudes? 

Materialism is associated with more interpersonal problems and with negative social attitudes toward other people. It is associated with shorter and lower-quality interpersonal relationships. Materialism is also associated with treating other people in more self-serving ways. In business settings, materialism is negatively correlated with caring about corporate social responsibility and positively correlated with interpersonally deviant workplace behaviors. It also predicts more competitive (and less cooperative) behavior. Finally, people high in materialism have a stronger social dominance orientation, hold more prejudicial beliefs about out-group members.

What is the correlation of materialism with ecological attitudes? 

Materialism should be associated with caring less about ecological sustainability. They engage in fewer environmentally beneficial behaviors and have higher ecological footprints than those who place a low priority on materialism. 

What is the correlation of materialism with educational and job motivation? 

Because external rewards such as money and grades typically undermine intrinsic motivation, and because intrinsic motivations are reflected in the self-direction and self-acceptance goals that conflict somewhat with materialistic goals, a materialistic focus might be negatively associated with motivation in work and educational domains. 

What is the correlation of materialism with personal well-being? 

Materialism is negatively associated with personal well-being, but that depends on the ways that materialism and well-being were each measured. Attempts to understand when and why materialism correlates negatively with well-being have spawned several theories and empirical investigations. Negative associations between materialism and well-being were generally robust across study.

Study shows that lower need satisfaction would result as the quality of one’s interpersonal relations declines, as one spends less time pursuing “something bigger” than one’s self, and as one’s motives are increasingly driven by status and rewards rather than freedom and interest.

How can you momentary activate materialism? 

Everyone has some concepts of materialism, at least to some extent, because they represent fundamental motivations basic to all humans. Two predictable sets of effects from activation were found. First, activation of a value/goal should increase behaviors and attitudes that reflect the values/goals that are consistent with the activated value/goal; this can be called a bleed-over effect. Second, activation of a value/goal should suppress behaviors and attitudes that reflect the values/goals that are in conflict with the activated value/goal; this can be called a seesaw effect. 

What does research say about activation? 

The bleed-over effect is shown by using experiments, which shows that you can activate materialism by encountering people in a certain way. Being referred to as a “consumer” rather than a “citizen” causes study participants to have more positive implicit evaluations of the self-enhancing values with which materialism is consistent A materialistic prime causes a shift toward greater concern with topics, values, self-concepts, and economic systems. Several studies also show that momentarily activating materialism (versus other topics) causes people to be less likely to help others and to donate money. Motivation for academic behavior is also affected by activatingmaterialistic values/goals. Framing a task as concerning extrinsic (rather than intrinsic) goals caused decreased depth of processing, persistence, and performance. Further, thinking about one’s time as money (versus control procedures) caused increased feelings of impatience, decreased happiness from leisure-time activities on the Internet, and decreased pleasure from listening to a song. 

In what ways can you decrease materialism?

There are three sets of strategies to decrease materialistic values.

  • Activating and encouraging the values/goals that stand in relative opposition to materialistic values/goals. Those interventions should support healthy attitudes and should reap the additional benefit of suppressing materialistic values. When people focus on materialistic values/goals, they tend to deprioritize behaviors and attitudes associated with the intrinsic and self-transcendent values/goals. 
  • Attempts to reduce the extent to which people are exposed to and affected by messages in their social surroundings suggesting that money, possessions, status, and image are important values. Exposure to materialistic messages causes people to prioritize these values.
  • Helping people to feel less insecure, threatened, and worried about their ability to satisfy their physical and psychological needs. Threat and insecurity cause people to place a relatively high priority on materialistic values/goals. If these threats can be reduced, or if people can learn to respond to these threats differently, materialism should decline. 

What interventions decrease materialism? 

When people are led to focus on intrinsic and selftranscendent values/goals, they shift away from materialistic values. Environmental norms also mitigate the tendency to behave in more materialistic and greedy ways after thinking about one’s own death  Interventions that improve people’s feelings of security also cause decreases in materialism. Further, when individuals who participated in a meditation program became more mindful, they also reported smaller gaps between their current and desired financial situation; this, in turn, benefitted their well-being. Interventions with adults can also help children become less susceptible to consumer culture’s influences. 

What policies decrease materialism? 

Materialistic values/goals can become less important when people orient their lives around intrinsic and self-transcendent values/goals. Individual-level attempts to orient away from materialistic values/goals will be hampered when people are frequently encouraged by their peers, employers, media, and government to focus on materialistic values. Cultural and economic shifts of these sortswill require broader policy changes. Alternative indicators, in contrast, typically focus on intrinsic and self-transcendent values/goals by directly assessing well-being, interpersonal connections, the health of one’s community and natural environment, etc. 

What is the main conclusion? 

Although materialism may have trait-like and identity-like features, but materialism must be seen as a set of values with particular dynamic relations to the other aims in the human value/goal system. Besidesan accurate attitude is to recognize that everyone has materialistic tendencies. These tendencies can be activated in a particular moment, enhanced when we see them modeled in society, and brought on by temporary or chronic feelings of threat or insecurity. A question that needs to be asked by researchers is when people are materialistic. The final conclusion is that materialism is not likely to disappear from the human psyche. Researches must aim to find out how someone can live without the materialistic tendencies to run rampant over other valuable aims in life. 

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The impact of career boundarylessness on subjective career success: The role of career compentencies, career autonomy, and career insecurity - Colakoglu (2011) - Article

The impact of career boundarylessness on subjective career success: The role of career compentencies, career autonomy, and career insecurity - Colakoglu (2011) - Article

Traditional careers are associated with rapid, upward mobility in a single hierarchy. This has been replaced by a boundaryless career, which is unpredictable and disorderly, associated with frequent horizontal mobility. In these careers, only individuals themselves can meaningfully define their own career, based on their own standards, needs, values and career stages. Study's suggest that boundaryless careers can both be positive and negative to one's attainment of subjective career succes. Career succes is the individuals feeling of accomplishment and satisfaction with their career. Boundaryless careers can give people extensive autonomy, but on the other hand, boundaryless careers can also pursuit a relatively discontinuous, idiosyncratic boundaryless career, with few external guides. That can be very stressful. Literature lacks empirical assessments of the consequences of having boundaryless careers. 


What are the effects of career boundarylessness? 

According to the enactment perspective, individuals are considered to be main agents in managing and shaping their own careers. Career boundarylessness should depict the extensive interorganizational mobility and non-linearity positively influences career autonomy. Career autonomy is the extent to which individuals perceive the freedom and discretion to determine and influence the pacing, shape, and direction of their careers. Career boundarylessness can also be an important stressor, because it can lead to career insecurity. 

What is the relation between career boundarylessness and career competences? 

Boundaryless careers are characterized by mobility not only across organizations but also across occupations. These careers are expected to enhance the development of the employee. “Soul searching” through career self exploration triggered by constant mobility would help individuals to better understand what is important for them in terms of career aspirations, needs, and preferences. Pursuing a boundaryless career contributes positively to the development of knowing-why, knowing-how, and knowing-whom competencies by providing opportunities for individuals to develop and accumulate these competencies. 

What is the role of career competencies in the development of career autonomy? 

Individuals with extensive knowing-how competencies have a set of career-relevant skills and knowledge. Extensive knowing-how competencies can provide a substantial amount of negotiation power to influence the time, speed, and terms of individuals' employment. Individuals equipped with knowing-why competencies are considered to have an extensive understanding of their selfconcept and the ability to use this understanding to make career decisions that are compatible with their self-concept. Self-awareness provides guidance and direction needed in effective career management. Individuals with knowing-whom competencies have the ability to develop and utilize a wide network of relationships that can provide information, influence, guidance, and support for them. Individualswith extensive knowing-whomcompetencies can influence their careers more than people with less extensive knowing-whom competencies because with the help of their network connections they can pursue self-directed career paths. 

What is the relationshop between career competencies and career insecurity? 

Insecurity is when you feel powerless to maintain continuous employment in your career. When you develop career competencies, career insecurity should decline. Individuals with extensive knowing-how competencies have a broad, flexible, and transferable knowledge and skill base that reduces career insecurity. People with knowing-why competencies have an extensive understanding of their self-concept and they know the motivational force behind their actions. These individuals can manage their careers more effectively because they are able to set realistic career goals and develop strategies to achieve these goals. Extensive knowing-whom competencies create a similar impact on career insecurity, because they have large networks with disconnectec contacts, which provides access to opportunities. Studies suggest that having knowing-why, knowing-how, and knowing-whom competencies reduces career insecurity by enabling individuals to maintain continuous employment with desirable characteristics when pursuing a boundaryless career. 

What is the effect of career autonomy on subjective career succes?

Person-career fit is the extent to which your career experiences are compatible with your values, interests and talents. When you have career autonomy, you can influence your career by making choices compatible with your values. The person-career fit can promote subjective career succes, because when you pursue careers that are compatible with your self-concept, you will be more satisfied. That in turn makes it more easy to achieve personally meaningful career outcomes. 

What is the effect of career insecurity on subjective career sucess? 

Career insecurity might make it difficult to make meaningful career choices. When you have a positive self-concept and positive career experiences, that increases the sense of accomplishment and satisfaction with your career. might impair individuals' ability to make personally meaningful career choices. To gain understanding of your possibilities, you need to understand your values, needs, interests, abilities, and motives. Excessive worrying about your career security creates stress and anxiety, which makes it harder to focus on self-exploration. 

Career insecurity can also negatively influence individuals' ability to successfully attain personally meaningful career outcomes. Even if you have an accurate understanding of your self-concept, career insecurity can prevent actual attainment in your career. Certain outcomes require the development of appropriate strategies, such as persistence. When you feel powerless, you are impaired and you don't have the ability to develop effective strategies to attain the outcomes you want. 

How did they collect their data? 

The study was designed to examine the relationship between career boundarylessness and subjective career success. The study used a sample that respresented various industries, organizational ranks and occupations. The data was collected by a self-administered electronic survey. Potential respondents were contacted either by email which described the purpose of the study and contained the URL to the survey and they got reminders after. 201 usable surveys had been obtained from the respondents yielding a response rate of 5%. The study's career satisfaction scale consisted of 5 items with a 5- point scale. In testing the hypothesized structural model, the fully mediated hypothesized model was compared with partially mediated and non-mediated models in order to assess whether the effects of career boundarylessness on career autonomy and career insecurity were direct or indirect through the three career competencies. 

What are the results of this analysis? 

  •  The hypothesized knowing-why and knowing-how competencies models were compared with a number of nested models. The hypothesized knowing-why competencies model was kept as the best fitting model for the study.  
  • Hypothesis 1 predicted a positive relation between career boundarylessness and the three career competencies. The study indicaated partial support for that, because the relationship between career boundarylessness and the external knowing-whom competencies was not statistically significant
  • Respondents who developed the three career competencies reported higher career autonomy.
  • Respondents who developed the three career competencies reported lower career insecurity.
  • Career autonomy positively impacts subjective career success
  • Career insecurity negatively impacts subjective career success

What do these results say? 

This study provides support for the positive relationshop between career boundarylessness and the knowing why and knowing how. It indiccates that experiencing a boundaryless career, it enhances career actors' opportunities to develop a deeper understanding of their own identity, skills and knowledge. There is no significant relationshop between career boundarylessness and external knowing whom comptetence, even though it was hypothesized to be, because of the notion that career mobility across differend organizations becomes instrumental for career actors. It is possible that for individuals to form an extensive network of relationships outside of their current organization they need to exceed a certain level of boundarylessness in their careers.

As expected, the three career competencies—knowing-why, knowing-whom, and external knowing-whom—were positively related to career autonomy and negatively related to career insecurity. Furthermore, career autonomy was found to be instrumental in attaining subjective career success. The results also supported the negative relationship between career insecurity and career satisfaction. Finally, the present study developed its own measure of career boundarylessness construct that included three separate structural indicators of career boundarylessness—frequency, type, and direction. Two careers with exactly the same mobility patterns could be perceived to be less or more boundaryless by two different career actors. 

What are the limitations of this study? 

The research was cross-sectional and only a correlational research, so there is no certainty about the causal relationships. Besides,  the study used self-report scales, which creates a possibility of common method variance. Also, the study's relatively low response rate can be an indication for non-response bias. Finally, the sample mostly consists of white, male  American MBA and Executive MBA alumni and students who were attending a private university in the United States, so the results may not be generalizable. 

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