COPS-P, CAPS and COPES Validity


The COPS-P System is a career awareness program consisting of three measures: Professional Interests (COPS-P), abilities (CAPS), and work values (COPES).

The COPS-P, CAPS, and COPES may be used together and summarized on a single profile, the COPS-P Comprehensive Career Guide. The following four tables show validity evidence for each inventory. Interpretation of these measures is organized around a comprehensive set of occupational clusters, which represent all possible jobs. Results are keyed to major sources of occupational information and related activities, skills, college majors, school planning, and training programs.

The COPS-P System structure of occupations is based on a theoretical clustering of occupations having highly similar job activities. Research on statistical confirmation of the theoretical structure upon which the COPS-P System is based dates back to the work of L.L. Thurstone in 1931 and its roots may be traced from that pioneering effort to the work of J. P. Guilford and the classification system presented by Anne Roe.

The theoretical basis of the COPS-P System provides a broader, more comprehensive base for career guidance than those instruments based on a few arbitrarily selected and empirically developed occupational scales. The COPS-P Interest Inventory provides occupational information organized into Career Clusters for the entire world of work, as shown in Table 1.

Table 1. Career Clusters.

In addition to its strong theoretical base, the COPS-P has substantial validity evidence. The COPS-P has demonstrated factor validity; the items have been factor analyzed and demonstrate the occupational structure presented above. Correlations between scales on similar types of interest inventories further demonstrate the validity of the COPS-P. Table 2 presents correlations between the COPS-P and scales on the SCII. It can be seen that the highest correlations have been found between conceptually similar scales on the two inventories. Complete information may be found in the COPS-P Technical Manual.

Table 2. Correlations between COPS-P and SCII.

The CAPS and COPES may be used in conjunction with the COPS-P. Results for the three assessments are combined on the COPS-P Comprehensive Career Guide. The CAPS is a widely used ability battery with well established validity and reliability information. Table 3 shows the correlations of the CAPS to another ability battery, the GATB. Correlations are high as would be expected between the conceptually similar tests and are shown in italics.

Table 3. Relationship of CAPS to GATB.
Table 4. Relationship of COPES to MBTI.

The COPES is the work values assessment component of the COPSystem battery. It is also widely used and has well established validity. A study was conducted comparing the COPES to the Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI). Although these two assessments are somewhat different in design, both may be used to explore career issues such as the motivation behind selecting and remaining in a particular occupation.

The COPES survey was designed to measure personal values that relate to occupational selection and job satisfaction. Work values measured by the COPES include Investigative, Practical, Independence, Leadership, Orderliness, Recognition, Aesthetic and Social, and are keyed to the COPSystem Career Clusters. The Myers-Briggs was developed as a means of applying Carl Jung’s theory of psychological types to personality assessment. The MBTI classifies individuals as one of 16 possible types, depending on preferences related to functioning in the areas of Introversion vs. Extraversion, Sensing vs. Intuitive, Thinking vs. Feeling, and Judgement vs. Perception. In career counseling, the different personality types are assumed to be the most attracted to and satisfied by particular occupations.

In the study, 299 high school and college students completed both the COPES and the MBTI. MBTI scores were converted to continuous scores as detailed in the MBTI Manual. Pearson correlations were computed between scales on both instruments and are shown in Table 4. As expected, there were significant correlations between like named, theoretically similar COPES and MBTI scales.

The finding of this study supported the hypothesized relationships between the COPES and the MBTI scales. Each of the eight COPES scales were significantly correlated with the expected MBTI scale, reconfirming the validity of the instrument. As demonstrated by the results of this study, the COPES is a useful measure of work values which are known to play an important role in occupational selection and satisfaction.

Further evidence of the validity and reliability for all three assessments may be found in their respective Technical Manuals.