William James the popular psychologist defines 'interest as a form of selective awareness of attention
produces meaning out of the mass of one' s experiences'
speaks of interests
'as likes and labels dislikes as aversions'.
Let us look upon interests as
organic conditions that result in a desire for further stimulator from a
particular type of object idea or experiences.
Evidences of interests in the form
of attention can be observed in the early behaviour of infants. At first this
activity is permanently biological but as perceptions occurs and concepts begin
to form, the psychological component becomes more important.
The child learns to avoid those
activities as unsatisfying and to repeat those that have proved to be
Interest, in fact form an integral
aspect of personality and they are not outside personality. Interest largely
means the individual' s likes or the individual' s preferences to engage
himself in a particular type of work, might have other preferences to another
type of work. Interests are also divided into extrinsic or intrinsic interest.
Extrinsic interest are connected
with activities that gives rise to satisfaction or pleasure. Intrinsic
interests are those are connected with the activity itself.
intrinsic interest centered on the activity itself is more basic or real
interest. However the differentiation is not easy. Sometimes an interest may be
intrinsic or sometimes it may be extrinsic.
eg Playing volleyball or basketball for sake of playing is
an intrinsic interest.
The individual desires pleasure from
it. Playing the same games to earn a reward or trophy or title is an extrinsic
interest. Interests are not like aptitude. They are required by the individual
in the course of his development.
Some interest may be present at one
time and disappear at another. Rarely does an individual' s interest last long.
However certain basic interest seems to last long for a lifetime.
An interest is not permanent. it is
acquired during the lifetime and it may be modified. At school, we expect the
pupils to be interested in reading books, playing games etc.
When they grow up and enter working life, some may keep the
interest of reading and some may keep the interest of playing.
Interests provide useful information for guidance in education and
vocational areas. There are a
number of psychological test to
assess or measure interests.
The most well known highly sophisticated
instrument is Strong ' s vocational interest blank. This is in two forms one for men and another for women.
Strong approached different
occupational group, such as physician, surgeon, scientists, university
teachers, schoolteachers, lawyers, accountants, engineers etc.
More than three hundred occupational group were considered
and from each individual be obtained a list of interests and activities the
individual liked and disliked. Another tool is used to access interest is Kuder' s preference record. (KRP).
The interests which were rated high
by a particular occupational groups were called the interests on mechanical,
computational, scientific, persuasive etc.
Interpretation of test result is to be made on the basis of
appropriate norms provided in the concerned manual. The highest score indicates
the important interest and the lowest least important interest area.
The guidance worker with the help of this objective test
information obtained from achievement , aptitude , personality and interest can
help the pupil to obtain a much better and deeper understanding of his
The counsellor also has a better
understanding of the counsellee (pupil) and thus can guide him ( pupil) better
with regard to two major areas of choice namely,
what courses they may pursue or
what type of or kind of job, that
they may take up. Thus in the areas of educational , vocational guidance
of interests are of greater value.