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PERSONALITY CHARACTERISTICS OF COUNSELING STUDENTS AT A - page 98 / 135

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consistent also with the finding that there is a trend for a positive correlation of the

NEO PI-R Extraversion domain and engagement in the counseling profession. The

strength of the trend (p = .040) for a negative correlation on scale 0 (Si) appears to be

somewhat less than the strength of the trend (p = .006) for a positive correlation on

Extraversion, so it does appear that there are some differences in what is being measured

by the two scales. The MMPI-2 was developed as an assessment of psychopathology. It

is not just a measure of introversion but also reflects other psychological distress such as

dysphoric mood, tension and anxiety, and problems in cognition (Nichols, 2001). The

NEO PI-R, on the other hand, was developed as a measure of normal personality and a

low score on the Extraversion domain does not necessarily indicate that the subject is

suffering from social anxiety, is unhappy, or shy. (Costa & McCrae, 1992)

The Extraversion domain of the NEO PI-R is a measure of a person’s preference

for social interaction, excitement, assertiveness, higher activity, and whether there is a

tendency to be upbeat and optimistic (Costa & McCrae, 1992). Although no literature

was found that directly addressed the relationship of NEO PI-R domain scales with a

graduate of a counseling program becoming actively involved in the profession, Tokar,

Fischer, and Subich (1998) found that the Extraversion domain was a relevant predictor

for jobs having an interpersonal performance component. The trend noted in this study

supports this conclusion. Counseling is an interpersonal event that involves being people

oriented (Combs, 1986), and it is reasonable to link this domain of the NEO PI-R with a

person’s desire to have active involvement in the profession. As with the other domains

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