Using Perceptual Maps for Career and College Counseling
Using Perceptual Maps for Career and College Counseling Oscar McKnight PhD. LPCC-S: Dir., Psychological Counseling/Health Services Ashland University Kerri Carmichael, LPC: Professional Counselor Ashland University
Gregory Pollock, LPCC-S: Clinical Counselor Private Practice OVERVIEW Perceptual mapping is a modeling technique used in business to visually display relationships and perceptions of customers.
In business, perceptual maps are often called product positioning maps. Conceptually, perceptual maps foster a better and deeper understanding of products and services in terms of public perception or actual outcomes. In short, marketers attempt to position products, product line, brand, or company type relative to their competition or competency. For counselors, this process facilitates open and honest discussion relative to personal expectations and goals.
PRESENTATION GOALS 1.Understand the history and intent of Perceptual Mapping in Business; and, how to modify and administer a perceptual map for career/college counseling. 2.Understand how to interpret and use a Perceptual Map given a multiple variable (axis) system; and, how to encourage/motivate the student/client in a realistic
appraisal of self, career and college. PERCEPTUAL MAP AS A PROCESS Simply stated, a perceptual map is a two-dimensional graph displaying product or service attributes. This process leads to both a quick intuitive and cognitive understanding.
A Few Examples of Perceptual Maps A Few Examples of Perceptual Maps Lets Start Simple
For example, in business: Some maps are perceptual and empirical (personal-preference) maps Some perceptual maps are strictly data driven (empirical evidence)
TRANSFERRING PERCEPTUAL MAPPING TO COUNSELING The process of perceptual mapping can be transferred easily to the counseling field; for example, when examining college selection or career direction. In career counseling and assessment, this process allows the student/client to evaluate career and
college thoughts, beliefs, values, and personal skill sets across multiple dimensions as introduced by the student/client. These maps display not only perceptions, but can also be used to establish personal goals given known outcomes. Incongruence or congruence between perceptual and empirical maps becomes the foundation of the counseling process.
The process becomes an opportunity for personal growth. Example: Applying a perceptual map to college selection Remember, multiple variables for evaluation are
possible, for example: When applying a perceptual map to employment, an example could be: PERCEPTUAL MAPS: MANY OPTIONS
COLLEGE PARADIGMS CAREER PARADIGMS ROI vs. Cost ACT/SAT Scores vs. GPA
Dress Code vs. Income Entrepreneurial vs. Security Hours Work vs. Income Profit Status vs. Benefits
Graduation Rate vs. Net Cost Footprint vs. ACT NOW YOU TRY Use the handout and create a perceptual map
using any self-selected or reviewed variables TYPICAL OUTCOMES WHEN USING PERCEPTUAL-MAPPING FOR COLLEGE OR CAREER EXPLORATION 1. Clients feel better and more confident about their decisions 2. Process reduces stress; career and college exploration or selection can be stressful
3. Allows a client to identify and rank-order specific goals 4. Early use of the process, can lead to new goal-related behaviors 5. Affords the client an opportunity to speak with a skilled and competent professional TYPICAL OUTCOMES WHEN USING PERCEPTUAL-MAPPING FOR COLLEGE OR CAREER EXPLORATION
6. Provides a forum and springboard to talk about troubling or private concerns 7. Allows for greater self-fulfillment and self-mastery 8. The process can be a reality check 9. Sanctions a non-bias and impartial look at personal options 10. Encourages a broader understanding of complexity of decision-making
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