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Thinking Clearly about Psychology V2

Thinking Clearly about Psychology V2: Personality and Psychopathology

William M. Grove
Dante Cicchetti
Copyright Date: 1991
Edition: NED - New edition
Pages: 480
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  • Book Info
    Thinking Clearly about Psychology V2
    Book Description:

    These essays provide a forum for influential theorists and researchers to address central issues in their own work that intersect with the research of arguably the most influential clinical psychologist of the twentieth century, Paul E. Meehl.

    eISBN: 978-0-8166-8356-7
    Subjects: Psychology

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Personality and Abilities

    • The Originating Self
      (pp. 3-9)
      B. F. Skinner

      Is there a place in a scientific analysis of behavior for an initiating, originating, creative self? Having dispensed with God as a creator, must science also dispense with that image of God called Man? We feel the need for a creative god because we see the world but very little of the process through which it came into existence, a product but not the production. Perhaps it is because we see human behavior but very little of the process through which it comes into existence that we feel the need for a creative self. With behavior, however, we have other...

    • Personality Traits: Issues of Definition, Evidence, and Assessment
      (pp. 10-35)
      Auke Tellegen

      From his writings and teaching it is evident that Paul Meehl is a trait psychologist who has long been sympathetic to and intrigued with the ideas of such classical trait theorists as Allport, Murray, Thurstone, and Cattell. Meehl considers Murray’s (1938) classification of needs and press a major systematic contribution, admires Thurstone’s pioneeringThe Vectors of Mind(1933), and shares Allport’s (1937) view that personality traits are real and have biological underpinnings.

      Meehl’s assessment of Cattell’s work appears more mixed. He does not share Cattell’s faith in factor-analytic methods, particularly not his faith in rotation to versions of Thurstonian simple...

    • Personality Structure and the Trait-Situation Controversy: On the Uses of Low Correlations
      (pp. 36-53)
      Jane Loevinger

      Personality theory has been preoccupied with two challenges: On the one hand, behavior is attributed mostly to situations rather than to enduring predispositions; low correlations between personality tests and behavioral items are cited as evidence. A frequent reply is that appropriate aggregation of tests and behaviors yields reasonably high predictions. The challenge and the reply share the assumption that high correlations are a good thing, the higher the better. On the other hand, Piagetian theorists argue for logically necessary relationships as the basis for constituting measures of stage-types. Allowing for various error factors, which they call décalage, they also expect...

    • Not Personality Scales, Personality Items
      (pp. 54-71)
      Paul H. Blaney

      This essay arises out of my profound dismay regarding the current state of the field of objective personality assessment in terms of self-report. In my view, the major problems are not those inherent in the use of self-report, nor are they specific to any particular instrument or to the approach of any one group of researchers or clinicians. Rather, they are pervasive and fundamental; they reflect prevailing folkways of personality assessment in both clinical and research contexts. When there is as much intense scholarly and clinical inquiry—by as many highly trained, intelligent individuals—as there is in this field,...

    • Deception, Rational Man, and Other Rocks on the Road to a Personality Psychology of Real People
      (pp. 72-88)
      Brendan A. Maher

      No contemporary surveyor of the terrain of the psychology of personality can draw much delight from the landscape that meets the eye.¹ The truth of the matter is that the small real increment in our knowledge during recent years stands in humble contrast to our failure to solve major questions that have been around for one century or more. The list of these is long, too long for enumeration here, but the now venerable trait-situation debate is a good example. We still have no adequate operational definition of a trait, hence no assurance that the study of traits is a...

    • Agency and Communion as Conceptual Coordinates for the Understanding and Measurement of Interpersonal Behavior
      (pp. 89-113)
      Jerry S. Wiggins

      This inscription at the base of the Statue of Liberty (1886) expressly contrasts Liberty with another famous bronze giant, the Colossus of Rhodes (circa 280 A.D.), one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. The latter statue depicted Helios the sun god, the principal deity of the Rhodians, who was honored annually by flinging four horses and a chariot into the sea for his personal use (Durant, 1939, p. 177). The images of Helios driving his flaming chariot across heavens and of Liberty nurturing her wretched masses vividly symbolize two fundamental modalities of human experience. Following Bakan (1966), I...

    • Some Unfinished Business
      (pp. 114-136)
      Harrison G. Gough

      People react in different ways to things that are incomplete, partial, or unfinished. For instance, some individuals would probably prefer to have an artist's preliminary, inchoate sketch of a later masterwork than the finished version, or the writer's notes for a story rather than the published version. In 1949, when the initial staff at the Institute of Personality Assessment and Research (IPAR) in Berkeley was preparing for its first assessment, one of the things done was to create a library of 1,000 self-descriptive items that seemed to be relevant in one way or another to the realization of intellectual and...

    • Are Intelligence Tests the Only Way to Assess Intelligence?
      (pp. 137-157)
      George S. Welsh

      “It is doubtful that there exists any best approach to studying intelligence” admit the authors (Sternberg & Slater, 1982, p. 25) of the introductory chapter in the hugeHandbook of human intelligence(Sternberg, 1982). Yet all of the 23 contributors seem to favor a cognitive conceptualization (now called the “information-processing” viewpoint) that requires subjects to find a “correct” answer to problems on the basis of their own knowledge or the information given. Although the termpersonalitydoes appear in the index —an advance over an earlier monumental volume,The nature of human intelligence(Guilford, 1967) —the entries are scant. Indeed,...

    • Some Unconventional Analyses of Resemblance Coefficients for Male and Female Monozygotic and Dizygotic Twins
      (pp. 158-187)
      Lloyd G. Humphreys

      Several years ago I published analyses of cross-twin and within-twin correlations among 40 tests for male and female monozygotic and dizygotic twins in the Project Talent national sample (Humphreys, 1974). My analyses were based on adaptations of a method of genetic analysis that had been in the literature for a number of years (Lerner, 1950), but had been little used by behavioral geneticists. A description of the methodology starts with the score matrix. Given N pairs of twins and n test scores, the score matrix is formed by selecting one member of each twin pair at random and recording the...

    • A Twice-Told Tale: Twins Reared Apart
      (pp. 188-216)
      Thomas J. Bouchard, Jr.

      Langmuir (1943), in a paper dealing with the limits and applicability of “scientific knowledge,” introduced an important distinction between two types of natural phenomena: convergent phenomena and divergent phenomena.

      First, those in which the behavior of the system can be determined from the average behavior of its component parts and second, those in which a single discontinuous event (which may depend upon a single quantum change) becomes magnified in its effect so that the behavior of the whole aggregate does depend upon something that started from a small beginning. The first class of phenomena I want to call convergent phenomena,...

  4. Methodology

    • Construct Validity: History and Application to Developmental Psychopathology
      (pp. 219-258)
      Judy Garber and Zvi Strassberg

      Among Meehl’s most important contributions to the field of psychology were his early works on defining and validating hypothetical constructs. The impact of this work is evident in the plethora of references in the literature to the now classic paper by Cronbach and Meehl (1955). In fact, the notion of construct validity has become so accepted that scores of additional articles exist that refer to construct validity without any longer citing the original references (American Psychological Association, 1954; Cronbach & Meehl, 1955).

      Despite the current recognition of the importance of construct validity in psychology, it has undergone several modifications and...

    • Bootstrapsing Taxometrics: On the Development of a Method for Detection of a Single Major Gene
      (pp. 259-294)
      Robert R. Golden

      The possibility of studying actual causal entities is especially appealing (if not a welcome relief) to that minority of psychometric researchers who are philosophical “realists,” who are interested in psychiatric theories and constructs that refer to conjectural, if not established,entities.The significance of the methodology discussed herein does, of course, cut much deeper than mere talk about entities. In fact, we believe it fair to say that, with bootstrapsing taxometrics, it should be possible to start out with a small number of substantive and statistical conjectures (not really “knowing” anything) about a single major gene and its indicator-variables, and...

    • Mixed and Mixed-Up Models for the Transmission of Schizophrenia
      (pp. 295-312)
      I. I. Gottesman and M. McGue

      Because we currently lack crucial experiments for resolving the ambiguity and uncertainty surrounding the mode of transmission of schizophrenia or any other major mental disorder, theoretical arguments that weigh the pros and cons of various alternatives and that have heuristic value for advancing the search for truth are still needed. In that spirit we present our deliberations as a homage to P. E. Meehl with respect to a topic that has been one of his major interests during his brilliant career. His interest in an inferred “hereditary neurological disorder” — schizotaxia— as the base on which schizotypal personality was socially learned...

    • Validity of Taxometric Inferences Based on Cluster Analysis Stopping Rules
      (pp. 313-330)
      William M. Grove

      Cluster analysis is often used in an exploratory fashion to generate heuristic groups, or to suggest hypotheses about meaningful partitions of a data set. However, there are numerous occasions when a test of the existence of mixed groups in a sample is needed. An example arose in the author’s work, conducted in collaboration with Meehl, lacono, and Hanson, on the genetics of schizophrenia. It may be that schizophrenia-proneness is transmitted as a dominant or recessive monogenic effect with incomplete expressivity. If this were so, then two populations of individuals would exist: high risk and low risk. Taxometric methods might help...

  5. Psychopathology

    • The Psychodiagnosis of Everyday Conduct: Narcissistic Personality Disorder and Its Components
      (pp. 333-345)
      David M. Buss

      An important goal of clinical assessment is to preserve the links between psychodiagnostic classifications and manifestations of psychopathology in everyday conduct (Buss & Craik, 1986). Manifestations of psychopathology are typically first noted in a person’s everyday life. The inability to work or play, displays of unusual ideation, expressions of subjective distress, and behaviors injurious to self or others initially come to the attention of the person, family, friends, co-workers, or other members of society. These acts in everyday conduct call attention to the need for some kind of diagnosis, treatment, or intervention from mental health professionals.

      The act frequency approach...

    • Toward the Development of a Scientific Nosology of Child Maltreatment
      (pp. 346-377)
      Dante Cicchetti and Douglas Barnett

      While history documents that child maltreatment has been in existence since the beginning of civilization (Ariès, 1962; Radbill, 1968; Ross, 1980), the systematic scientific investigation of the etiology, course, intergenerational transmission, and sequelae of this pervasive psychological and social problem is a relatively recent phenomenon. One of the most crucial gaps in our knowledge base is that we do not yet have an adequate taxonomic system for conceptualizing and reliably differentiating between the varying manifestations of maltreatment within the spectrum of maltreatment phenomena. In this chapter, we provide a brief historical account of how the various societal, clinical, and academic...

    • Depression and Extreme Violence in Adolescence
      (pp. 378-401)
      Carl P. Malmquist

      A persistent problem is that violent behavior can be connected to diverse diagnoses or no diagnosis. In a court population, there is the additional problem of the chronological age that comes before a juvenile court. Which definition of violence to employ, and the sensitivity and specificity of measures used for the diagnosis of depression in an adolescent population, also need clarification (American Psychiatric Association, 1987; Feigner, Robins, Guze, Woodroof, Winokur, & Munoz, 1984; Nelson & Charney, 1981; Spitzer, Endicott, & Robins, 1978). Behavior can also be partly defined by a legal standard. The adolescent subjects selected for investigation were those...

    • Environment, Schizophrenia, and Academic Psychology
      (pp. 402-409)
      Leonard L. Heston

      Behavioral science cannot specify an environmental contributor to the etiology of major psychopathological disorders excepting only drug-associated states such as alcoholism. Although studies of monozygotic twins regularly discover phenotypic discordances that must be associated with environmental differences, those professionally concerned with behavior have no bases upon which to predict the results of given environments. No one could design an environment that would predictably produce or prevent, as examples, schizophrenia or bipolar illness or obsessional illness. A major test of credibility as a science is thereby failed.

      This failure is becoming increasingly visible and important because molecular genetics has been making...

    • A Developmental Model for the Etiology of Schizophrenia
      (pp. 410-429)
      Joseph Zubin, Richard S. Feldman and Suzanne Salzinger

      Although we have made some progress in describing, diagnosing, and even treating schizophrenia, we are abysmally ignorant of its etiology. However, a variety of scientific etiological models have been postulated, and Zubin (1972; Zubin & Steinhauer, 1981) has proposed seven —genetic, anatomical, internal environmental, neurophysiological, developmental, learning, and ecological —and a superordinate model for integrating them into a vulnerability paradigm (Zubin & Spring, 1977). One of these, the developmental model, is the subject of this essay.

      Historically, the developmental approach to schizophrenia has given rise to etiological hypotheses based on the effect of disturbed interaction between mother and child, and...

    • Control Groups in Schizophrenia Research: A Neglected Source of Variability
      (pp. 430-450)
      William G. lacono

      Some years ago, Meehl (1973) characterized the research literature on schizophrenia as “vast and dismal,” and added that most of it “does not tend appreciably to confirm anything” (p. 203). Although currently research interest in schizophrenia is experiencing something of a renaissance and we have made positive strides since the early 70s, most psychopathologists would still be hard pressed to formulate a list of a half-dozen statements about this disorder that they would be willing to defend a decade hence. The task would be more difficult still if they were asked to confine their list to new findings uncovered in...

  6. Contributors
    (pp. 451-454)
  7. Index
    (pp. 455-467)
  8. Back Matter
    (pp. 468-468)