The Relationship between Vocational Personalities and Character Strengths in Adults


The relationship between vocational personalities and character strengths, and the contribution of both to life satisfaction were tested in an online sample of 302 Israeli adults. Hierarchical regressions indicated that love of learning explained 9.8% of the investigative personality, creativity and appreciation of beauty explained 19.6% of the artistic personality, zest and spirituality explained 14% of the social personality, and creativity explained 7.9% of enterprising personality. A bootstrapping procedure revealed that hope and gratitude fully mediated the association of social personality with life satisfaction. The theoretical and practical implications of the study findings for career counseling and development are discussed.

Share and Cite:

Littman-Ovadia, H. , Potok, Y. & Ruch, W. (2013). The Relationship between Vocational Personalities and Character Strengths in Adults. Psychology, 4, 985-993. doi: 10.4236/psych.2013.412142.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


[1] Anaby, D., Jarus, T., & Zumbo, B. D., (2009). Psychometric evaluation of the Hebrew language version of the Satisfaction with Life Scale. Social Indicators Research: International Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality of Life Measurement, 96, 267-274.
[2] Barrick, M. R., Mount, M. K., & Gupta, R. (2003). Meta-analysis of the relationship between the five-factor model of personality and Holland’s occupational types. Personnel Psychology, 56, 45-74.
[3] Cohen, J. (1992). A power primer. Psychological Bulletin, 112, 155-159.
[4] Costa, P. T., & McCrae, R. R. (1992). Normal personality assessment in clinical practice: The NEO personality inventory. Psychological Assessment, 4, 5-13.
[5] Cotter, E. W., & Fouad, N. A. (2011). The relationship between subjective well-being and vocational personality type. Journal of Career Assessment, 19, 51-60.
[6] DeNeve, K. M., & Copper, H. (1998). The happy personality: A meta analysis, of 137 personality traits and subjective well-being. Psychological Bulletin, 124, 197-229.
[7] Diener, E., Emmons, R. A., Larsen, R. J., & Griffin, S. (1985). The Satisfaction with Life Scale. Journal of Personality Assessment, 49, 71-75.
[8] Diener, E., Eunkook, M. S., Lucas, R. E., & Smith, H. L. (1999). Subjective well-being: Three decades of progress. Psychological Bulletin, 125, 276-302.
[9] Diener, E., Oishi, S., & Lucas, R. E. (2003). Personality, culture, and subjective well-being: Emotional and cognitive evaluations of life. Annual Review of Psychology, 54, 403-425.
[10] Gottfredson, G. D., Jones, E. M., & Holland, J. L. (1993). Personality and vocational interests: The relation of Holland’s six interest dimensions to five robust dimensions of personality. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 40, 518-524.
[11] Harzer, C., & Ruch, W. (in press). The application of signature character strengths and positive experiences at work. Journal of Happiness Studies, 14, 965-983.
[12] Harzer, C., & Ruch, W. (2012). When the job is a calling: The role of applying one’s signature strengths at work. Journal of Positive Psychology, 7, 362-371.
[13] Holland, J. L. (1997). Making vocational choices: A theory of vocational personalities and work environments (3rd ed.). Odessa, FL: Psychological Assessment Resources.
[14] Holland, J. L., Fritzsche, B. A., & Powell, A. B. (1994). The self-directed search technical manual. Odessa, FL: Psychological Assessment Resources.
[15] Larson, L. M., Rottinghaus, P. J., & Borgen, F. H. (2002). Meta-analyses of Big Six interests and Big Five personality factors. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 61, 217-239.
[16] Lavy, S., & Littman-Ovadia, H. (2011). All you need is love? Strengths mediate the negative association between attachment orientations and life satisfaction. Personality and Individual Differences, 50, 01010100.
[17] Littman-Ovadia, H., & Lavy, S. (2012). Character strengths in Israel: Hebrew adaptation of the VIA inventory of strengths. European Journal of Psychological Assessment, 28, 41-50.
[18] Lyubomirsky, S., Sheldon, K. M., & Schkade, D. (2005). Pursuing happiness: The architecture of sustainable change. Review of General Psychology, 9, 111-131.
[19] Meir, E. I., & Hasson, R. (1982). Congruence between personality type and environment type as a predictor of stay in an environment. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 21, 309-317.
[20] Park, N., & Peterson, C. (2008). Positive psychology and character strengths: Application to strengths-based school counseling. Professional School Counseling, 12, 85-92.
[21] Park, N., Peterson, C., & Seligman, M. (2004). Strengths of character and well-being. Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 23, 603619.
[22] Peterson, C., (2006). A primer in positive psychology. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.
[23] Peterson, C., Park, N., & Seligman, M. E. (2005). Orientations to happiness and life satisfaction: The full life versus the empty life. Journal of Happiness Studies, 6, 25-41.
[24] Peterson, C., & Seligman, M. E .P. (2004). Character strengths and virtues: A handbook and classification. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.
[25] Preacher, K. J., & Hayes, A. F. (2008). Asymptotic and resampling strategies for assessing and comparing indirect effects in multiple mediator models. Behavior Research Methods, 40, 879-891.
[26] Proyer. R. T., Sidler. N., Weber. M., & Ruch, W. (2012). A multi-method approach to studying the relationship between character strengths and vocational interests in adolescents. International Journal for Educational and Vocational Guidance, 12, 141-157.
[27] Ryan, R. M., & Deci, E. L. (2001). To be happy or to be self-fulfilled: A review of research on hedonic and eudaimonic well-being. In S. Fiske (Ed.), Annual Review of Psychology (Vol. 52). Palo Alto, CA: Annual Reviews Inc.
[28] Ruch, W., Proyer, R. T., Harzer, C., Park, N., Peterson, C., & Seligman, M. E. P. (2010). Values in Action Inventory of Strengths (VIA-IS): Adaptation and validation of the German version and the development of a peer-rating form. Journal of Individual Differences, 31, 138-149.
[29] Savickas, M. L. (2011). Career counseling. Washington DC: American Psychological Association.
[30] Spokane, A. R., & Cruza-Guet, M. C. (2005). Holland’s theory of vocational personalities in work environments. In S. D. Brown and R. W. Lent (Eds.), Career development and counseling: Putting theory and research to work (pp. 24-41). New York: Wiley.
[31] Steel, P., Schmidt, J., & Shultz, J. (2008). Refining the relationship between personality and subjective well-being. Psychological Bulletin, 134, 138-161.

Copyright © 2020 by authors and Scientific Research Publishing Inc.

Creative Commons License

This work and the related PDF file are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.