Empirical examination of an online version of the self-directed search

Azy Barak, Liora Cohen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The study examined the quality and utility of online administration of the Self-Directed Search (SDS) to high school students in a career exploration workshop. An Internet-based SDS version was designed; it included automatic scoring and immediate feedback to test takers, providing a three-letter occupational code along with verbal explanation of the results. SDS was taken by participants in their homes or in school (n = 77), and compared to traditional administration of the SDS (n = 73), either self-scored or counselor scored. The mean internal consistency coefficient for the SDS was .90, and mean test-retest reliability (over a 6-week period) was .94. Mean correlation between the same SDS scales of participants who took both versions was .77. For this latter group, the Realistic, Social, and Enterprising scales were found to be higher in the online administration than in the paper-and-pencil administration, whereas the three other scales were not statistically different. Similar to the traditional version and consistent with previous research, the online version produced the configuration of a RIASEC-order hexagon. Participants who took the online version were more satisfied with it than those who took the paper-and-pencil version. These results highly support the further use of the online version of the SDS.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)387-400
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Career Assessment
Issue number4
StatePublished - Nov 2002


  • Career
  • Internet
  • Online
  • Self-Directed Search
  • Testing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology
  • General Psychology
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management


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