Problem statement: Interest can be defined as “when an individual pays attention to an object without special effort, maintains her/his attention for a long time, and is aware of and transforms this attentiveness into a response and an attitude.” Vocational interests indicate an individual’s feelings about employment, courses of study, hobbies, free time activities and life choices. A multitude of interest inventories are used for measuring vocational interest throughout the world. Currently in the Republic of Turkey, however, there are very few available interest inventories being utilized for educational and/or research purposes. Most of them are only used to established norms.
Purpose of the Study.The aim of this study is to create a standardization process which incorporates the values to be used as norms in Occupational Field Interest Inventories (Mesleki Alan İlgi Envanteri-OFII)’s for sub-dimensions according to age (13-19+ years old) and gender in Turkey.
Method: The application has been performed in Level 1 of Nomenclature of Territorial Units for Statistics (NUTS). Twelve provinces, one from each region, were used in this application. Within the research group, a sampling method based on probability was used. Participants ranged in age from 11 to 26, but most (98.8%) were between 13 and 20. The participants consisted of 3799 students, 51% men (n=1936) and 49% women (n=1863). The data for the study was collected online using the OFII during a period of approximately one month. In this study, independent samples t test and two-way ANOVA were used for the significance of mean difference.
Findings and Results: There were significant differences favoring men in six sub-dimensions: mathematics, computer, agriculture-outdoor, engineering, political-financial sciences and sciences (p<.001). Seven sub-dimensions favored women: psychology, education, Turkish language, health (p<.001), fine arts, law (p<.01), and foreign language (p<.05). According to the common effect of gender and age, the differences in engineering (p<.001), mathematics, psychology, agriculture-outdoor (p<.01), foreign language, visual arts, sciences (p<.05) were significant but in computer, education, Turkish language, law, communication, political-financial sciences and sciences, they were not significant.
Conclusions and Recomendations:At the end of this study, it was determined that the younger age groups, in particular those from 13 to 15 years of age, had interests in many sub-dimensions, which significantly differed from the 16, 17, 18, and 19+ year old males and females. This is reasonable given the age borders clarified in the literature in order to support these results. By taking into consideration the gained results and literature, an individual’s interest score for one of the 14 sub-dimensions should be calculated with the help of formulas. It is then suggested that a 60 t score be used as a cutoff point in order to identify in which area the individual has the greatest interest.
Keywords: standardization of Turkish culture, age norm, gender norm, Occupational Field Interest Inventory (OFII