The effect of a computer-assisted career guidance program and a vicarious experience on career decision-making self-efficacy



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Texas Tech University


This study applied Bandura's self-efficacy theory to the process of career decision-making. An enactive attainment experience, provided by an hour's use of SIGI PLUS, and a vicarious experience, provided by videotaped models who used SIGI PLUS, were expected to affect career decision-making self-efficacy and career decidedness. Specifically, the enactive attainment was expected to increase career decision-making selfefficacy and reduce career indecision. The vicarious experience was also expected to improve career decision-making self-efficacy, but to a lesser degree than the enactive attainment experience. The vicarious experience was not expected to affect career decidedness. Participants included 117 undergraduates who were assigned to one of the treatment groups or a control group. A MANOVA was calculated and failed to detect significant group differences on the dependent variables as measured by the Career Decision Scale and the Career Decision-Making Self-Efficacy Scale-Short Form. Possible explanations for the lack of support for the hypotheses included small sample size, lack of random assignment to experimental condition, and issues related to differences between efficacy and effectiveness studies. Because this study attempted to maximize internal validity considerations (like an efficacy study), external validity was compromised. Use of career-counseling clients rather than analogue participants, fewer restrictions on how participants used SIGI PLUS, and a more interesting videotaped vicarious experience were discussed as possible ways to increase external validity, perhaps leading to measurable changes on dependent variables. Other study results, limitations, and suggestions for future research were discussed.