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Richards, William Thom
Additions to John L. Holland's theory of career choice and development based on Maharishi Vedic Science

Order No. 3173295

Holland's theory of career choice matches personality types and occupation or environment types. Maharishi Vedic ScienceSM places career choice in the larger framework of dharma. This study investigates the following question: Can the concept of dharma from Maharishi Vedic Science, including the concepts of heart and mind, natural action, absolute dharma and higher states of consciousness, expand and give greater precision to the theory of career choice presented by John L. Holland?

This study uses both quantitative and qualitative procedures in the context of exploratory methodology. Thirty-two advanced teachers of the Transcendental Meditation® program participated as subjects. All subjects completed standardized tests (SDS, PCI, CASI-Job Satisfaction Scale, Fordyce Emotions Questionnaire and a higher states of consciousness Experience Questionnaire), and were interviewed in a structured format.

There were four major findings of this study: (1) A Holistic Factor, representing "action in accord with dharma ," also described as "expansion of consciousness as related to career," was operationally defined as a combination (by means of factor analysis) of higher states experiences (Experience Questionnaire), happiness (Fordyce Emotions Questionnaire), restedness (a Likert scale) and congruence (Richards Agreement Index); (2) The Holistic Factor correlated highly with job satisfaction; (3) Evidence was found for a heart-mind division of Holland's personality types, with Artistic, Social and Enterprising on the heart side and Conventional, Realistic and Investigative on the mind side; (4) Qualities of high Holistic Factor individuals were identified in terms of code families derived from qualitative analysis of the structured interviews.

There were three results not anticipated by the research questions: (1) A new calculation for congruence (the Richards Agreement Index) was developed which produced scores correlating better with job satisfaction than those of the commonly used Iachan Agreement Index; (2) Large, significant, and unexpected gender differences were found with regard to all major concepts investigated in this study; (3) Stages of coding qualification and stages of exploratory analysis not found in qualitative analysis literature were developed and used in this study.

The concept of dharma as presented in Maharishi Vedic Science is found to expand and give greater precision to Holland's theory.

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