Intraindividual personality profiles associated with Realistic interests

Wiernik, B. M.
Journal of Career Assessment, 24(3), 460–480

Investigations of the link between the Big Five personality traits and vocational interests have typically found no consistent relationships between personality traits and Realistic interests. The present paper uses intraindividual criterion profile analysis in two studies to identify patterns in the relationships between personality traits and Realistic interests not found by previous investigations. In the first study, personality scores from two inventories were used to predict Realistic overall, basic, and occupational interests for 574 adults. Realistic-Producing interests were driven by high intraindividual Openness and low Extraversion. Realistic-Adventuring interests were marked by low intraindividual Agreeableness and high Extraversion. The Intellect aspect of Openness, not the Experiencing aspect, drove the Openness-Producing relationship. In the second study, reanalysis of 19 additional samples from the literature confirmed the important role of Openness to Intellect, but not Experiencing, in driving Producing interests. Gender moderated profile pattern shapes. Generally, personality profile pattern, not absolute levels of traits, drove the validity of personality traits in explaining Realistic vocational interests.