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About the Strong Interest Inventory®: Differences Between Adjacent Types


As you look at the hexagon for the Strong, you'll notice that some letters are closer than others. This reflects Holland's theory that some occupations are more similar than others. So Realistic and Conventional jobs are more similar than Realistic and Social, for example. But what are the differences between those scales that are closest to each other on the hexagon?

This time we'll look at two sets of adjacent occupations to see what's different.

Let's take Artistic and Social jobs. Generally, Artistic jobs require greater use of data, spatial perception, feelings, ideas, or facts. Similarly, Artistic jobs rate higher in abstract and creative versus routine and concrete activities. Finally, they rate higher in activities involving processes, machines, or techniques as opposed to social welfare.

Social jobs score higher than Artistic jobs on time spent with people, in clerical aptitude, dealing with people, variety, and change. More time is spent in talking and listening in Social jobs.

If we compare Social to Enterprising jobs, the former has higher ratings in scientific and technical activities versus business contacts. Conversely, Enterprising jobs are higher than social jobs in numerical aptitude required, and activities involving processes, techniques, or machines, instead of social welfare.

As you can imagine, many jobs combine aspects from several scales, so they are a blend of types. Of course, none of the above means that only Social jobs require clerical abilities or numbers people work in Enterprising jobs. It merely shows some of the criteria that separate jobs into the different categories. Once again, the most important aspect is matching your interests and abilities to your job.


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