Can P-technique diagnosis be practicably shortened?: Some proposals and a test of a 50-day abridgment

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Cattell, Raymond B. (Raymond Bernard), 1905-1998
Cattell, Heather Birkett

Cattell, R. B, Birkett, H. (1980). Can P-Technique Diagnosis Be Practicably Shortened? Some Proposals and a Test of a 50-Day Abridgment. Multivariate Experimental Clinical Research, 5(1), 1-16.


The remarkable neglect by clinicians of the only positive comprehensive technique for determining unique dynamic structure is traced to an educational schism, excessive time demand, and lack of clinic-computer hook-ups. This study enquires if cutting the time (number of occasions) in half would still have statistical-psychometric reliability. It finds by comparison of 5 factor analyses on an original 100 occasion P-technique, using the MAT on an alcoholic, that the factor structure is excellently preserved, and that the correlation among dynamic source factors are tolerably preserved. The new findings emerges that these patterns in the dynamic structure remain constant in comparison of the first and second six (50 occasions): despite very significant changes in the levels of the traits, i.e., structure transcends the levels of stimulation. As far as the consistency of dynamic structure itself is concerned P-technique could therefore be much abridged. Two further radical improvements for practice are proposed for investigation: (1) Shortening and automation of objective motivation measurement devices, with computer hook-up, and (2) Provision of standard stimulus sequences e.g., in a movie, capable of provoking a series of emotional-motivational states in a relatively short time period.

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