Linking abilities, interests, and sex via latent class analysis.

W. Johnson, T. J. Jr Bouchard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The few studies that have examined associations between measured interests and abilities have suffered from small sample sizes, restricted ranges of ability and background, preconceived groupings of interests, and measures of ability that confound general and specific cognitive abilities. In this study of 425 adults from diverse backgrounds, the authors used latent class analysis, with general intelligence and two dimensions of ability that are uncorrelated with general intelligence as covariates, to articulate eight occupational interests that could be characterized by level and profile of ability. These groups showed substantial mean differences in all covariates, and differences in the covariates had substantial effects on probabilities of interest group classification. Sex differences in ability dimensions did not, however, completely explain the sex differences in most likely interest group classification. Although socialization may explain the greater sex differences in occupational interests than abilities, biological explanations are also possible.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3-38
Number of pages37
JournalJournal of Career Assessment
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2009


  • sex differences
  • VPR theory
  • vocational interests
  • general intelligence
  • specific abilities


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