Volume 2, Number 3 / June issue 2016
Janeesha Pleasant
Holland’s theory: A comprehensive overview

This paper will discuss Holland’s Theory and the details that make up the RIASEC model. The author will discuss the typology that includes six personality types, six corresponding occupational environments, and their interactions that are offered as a tool for understanding work histories, vocational satisfaction, achievement, and vocational interest. The paper will also cover evidence based research that supports Holland’s theory. Readers will be able to understand the RIASEC model, and what assessments are based from the model.
Keywords: Holland’s Theory, RIASEC, achievement, vocational interest

Cite this article:
Janeesha Pleasant. Holland’s theory: A comprehensive overview. Acta Scientiae et Intellectus, 2(3)2016, 18-28.


  1. Brown, S. D., & Ryan Krane, N. E. (2000). Four (or five) sessions and a cloud of dust: Old assumptions and new observations about career counseling. In S.D. Brown, & R. W. Lent (Eds.), Handbook of counseling psychology (3rd ed., pp. 740–766). New York: Wiley.
  2. Chang, D. H. (2002). The past, present, and future of career counseling in Taiwan. The Career Development Quarterly, 50(3), 218-225.
  3. Dozier, V. C., Sampson, J. P., & Reardon, R. C. (2013). Using two different Self-Directed Search (SDS) interpretive materials: Implications for career assessment. The Professional Counselor, 3(2), 67.
  4. Gelso, C., & Fretz, B. (2001). Counseling psychology. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.
  5. Holland, J. L. (1997). Making vocational choices: A theory of vocational personalities and work environments. Psychological Assessment Resources.
  6. Holland, J. L. (2013). Self-Directed Search “. Advances in Vocational Psychology: Volume 1: The Assessment of interests, 55.
  7. Holland, J.L., & Messer, M.A. (2013). The Self-Directed Search: Professional manual. Odessa, FL: Psychological Assessment Resources.
  8. Jones, L. K., Sheffield, D., & Joyner, B. (2000). Comparing the Effects of the Career Key with Self-Directed Search and Job-OE among Eighth-Grade Students. Professional School Counseling, 3(4), 238-47.
  9. Logue, C. T., Lounsbury, J. W., Gupta, A., & Leong, F. T. (2007). Vocational interest themes and personality traits in relation to college major satisfaction of business students. Journal of Career Development, 33(3), 269-295.
  10. Osborn, D., & Zunker, V. (2015). Using assessment results for career development. Cengage Learning.
  11. Rounds, J., & Tracey, T. J. (1996). Cross-cultural structural equivalence of RIASEC models and measures. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 43(3), 310.
  12. Savickas, M. L., & Taber, B. J. (2006). Individual differences in RIASEC profile similarity across five interest inventories. Measurement and Evaluation in Counseling and Development, 38(4), 203.
  13. Seng, K., & Zeki, A. M. (2014, December). Career Guidance and Employment Management System. In Advanced Computer Science Applications and Technologies (ACSAT), 2014 3rd International Conference on (pp. 73-78). IEEE.
  14. Smart, J. C., & Feldman, K. A. (1998). Accentuation Effects of dissimilar academic departments: An Application and Exploration of Holland's Theory. Research in Higher Education, 39(4), 385-418. (Smart & Feldman, 1998).
  15. Spencer, G. Niles, & Harris-Bowlsbey, J. (2013). Career development interventions in the 21st century. Pearson.
  16. Spokane, A. (1996). Holland’s theory. In D. Brown, L. Brooks, & Associates (Eds.), Career choice and development (3rd ed., pp.33-74). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
  17. Spokane, A., Luchetta, E., & Richwine, M. (2002). Holland’s theory of personalities. In D. Brown, L. Brooks, & Associates (Eds.), Career choice and development (4th ed., pp. 373-426). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
  18. Spokane, A. R., & Cruza-Guet, M. C. (2005). Holland’s theory of vocational personalities in work environments. Career development and counseling: Putting theory and research to work, 24-41.
  19. Weinrach, G. (1984). Determinants of vocational choice: Holland’s theory. In D. Brown, L. Brooks, & Associates (Eds.), Career choice and development: Applying contemporary theories to practice (3rd ed., pp.61-93). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
  20. Wille, B., Tracey, T. J., Feys, M., & De Fruyt, F. (2014). A longitudinal and multi-method examination of interest–occupation congruence within and across time. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 84(1), 59-73.
  21. Zunker, V.G. (2014). Career Counseling: A Holistic Approach. Cengage Learning. (Zunker, 2014).
  22. Zytowski, D.G. (1999). How to talk to people about their interest inventory results. In M.L. Savickas & A.R. Spokane (eds.), Vocational interest; Meaning, measurement, and counseling use, pp. 277-293. Palo Alto, CA: Davies-Black/Consulting Psychologist Press.