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A Brief Description of the Holland Environmental Typology

Attribute Realistic Investigative Artistic Social Enterprising Conventional


Manual and mechanical competencies interaction with tools, machines and objects

Analytical, technical, scientific, and verbal competencies

Innovation or creative ability, emotionally expressive interaction with others

Interpersonal competencies, skill in mentoring, treating healing or teaching

Skills in persuasion and manipulation of others

Clerical skills, skills in meeting precise standards for performance

Demands and rewards the display of

Conforming behavior, practical accomplishment

Skepticism and persistence in problem solving, documentation of new knowledge, understanding or solution of problems

Imagination in literary, artistic or musical accomplishment

Empathy, humanitarianism, sociability, friendliness

Initiative in the pursuit of financial or material accomplishment;
dominance; self confidence

Organizational ability, conformity, dependability

Values or personal styles allowed expression

Practical, productive and concrete values; robust, risky adventurous styles

Acquisition of knowledge through scholarship or investigation

Unconventional ideas or manners, aesthetic values

Concern for the welfare of others

Acquisitive or power-oriented styles

Conventional outlook and concern for orderliness and routines

Occupations or other environments involve

Concrete, practical activity; use of machines, tools, materials

Analytical or intellectual activity aimed at trouble-shooting or creation and use of knowledge

Creative work in music, writing, performance, sculpture or unstructured intellectual endeavors

Working with others in a helpful or facilitating way

Selling, leading, manipulating others to attain personal or organizational goals

Working with things, numbers, or machines to meet predictable organizational demands or specified standards

Sample occupations

Carpenter, truck operator

Psychologist, microbiologist

Musician, interior design

Counselor, clergy member

Lawyer, retail store manager

Production editor, bookkeeper

A Brief Description of the Holland Personality Typology

Attribute Realistic Investigative Artistic Social Enterprising Conventional

Preferences for activities and occupations

Manipulation of machines tools and things

Exploration, understanding, and prediction or control of natural and social phenomena

Literary, musical or artistic activities

Helping, teaching, treating, counseling or serving others  through  personal interaction

Persuading, manipulating or directing others

Establishing or maintaining orderly routines, application of standards


Material rewards for tangible accomplishments

Development or acquisition of knowledge

Creative expression of ideas, emotions, or sentiments

Fostering the welfare of others, social service

Material accomplishment and social status

Material or financial accomplishment and power in social, political or business arenas

Sees self as

Practical, conservative, and having manual and manipulative skills – lacking interpersonal skills

Analytical, intelligent, skeptical, and having academic talent – lacking interpersonal skills

Open to experience, innovative, intellectual – lacking clerical or office skills

Empathic, patient, and having interpersonal skills – lacking mechanical ability

Having sales and persuasive ability – lacking scientific ability

Having technical skills in business or production- lacking artistic competencies

Others see as

Normal, frank

Asocial, intellectual

Unconventional, disorderly, creative

Nurturing, agreeable, extroverted

Energetic, gregarious

Careful, conforming


Interaction with people

Persuasion or sales activities

Routines and conformity to established rules

Mechanical and technical activity

Scientific, intellectual or abstruse topics

Ambiguous or unstructured undertakings

Source: Gottfredson, G., & Holland, J. (1996), Dictionary of Holland occupational codes (3rd ed.). Odessa, Fla.: Psychological Assessment Resources.