Date of Award

Summer 2020

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



Committee Chair

Emily Yowell, Ph.D.

Committee Chair School


Committee Member 2

Melanie Leuty, Ph.D.

Committee Member 2 School


Committee Member 3

Eric Dahlen, Ph.D.

Committee Member 3 School


Committee Member 4

Richard Mohn, Ph.D.

Committee Member 4 School



In a series of workshops, Holland’s RIASEC Theory and elements of Cognitive Information Processing Theory were infused with vocational calling language. Participants were largely college freshman in a community learning group and students participating in an extra credit opportunity in the School of Psychology. An in-person quasi-experimental design compared outcomes between three career workshops (i.e., Holland, Calling, and Control) on career decision-making self-efficacy, cognitive and emotional career decision-making difficulties, and vocational identity. The Calling workshop outperformed Holland and Control for all measured career variables (i.e., career decision-making self-efficacy, cognitive career decision-making difficulties, emotional and personality career decision-making difficulty, and vocational identity). Pre-existing vocational calling status as covariate revealed a significant main interaction, but follow-up simple effects revealed no significant difference within workshops. Therefore, using vocational calling language in a 1-hour workshop based on Holland’s Theory and elements of CIP theory significantly improved the measured career variables. Follow-up t tests revealed the Holland workshop increased participants’ confidence to match their personality to an environment, while the Calling workshop increased participants’ confidence in choosing their career. Limitations and implications for results are discussed.