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Old 16/03/2006, 02:50 PM
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Epic Epic is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 460
Default Re: Distortions in Self-Report Data

Personality testing is usually exclusively self report, which is always subjective. Now the most effective way to test people, would be to identify human universals which vary little from population to population and also are confirmed to relate to a "function".

Now the problem here is no one knows what functions really are, its just all an intuitive mess. 'judgement is sorta like "this" and its constituent components are sorta like "that" and "the other"

It isn't objective so it isn't experimentally valid.

I would think a statistical approach in a longitudinal study would be best. That is, you trace development over time by exposing different people to different stimuli.

At once is silly. For example

Researcher: "do you like math?"
Subject: "no, i hate math"
Researcher: "Are you interested in science and technology?"
Subject: "well, most of it uses math, so no"
Researcher: "Are you a social person?"
Subject: "no."
Researcher: "oh... Well, do you rely more on your feelings than your logic"
Subject: "umm"

It just seems like the questions are setting the person up to decide as the test goes on. Also, the words used and the contemporary associations with functions(like logic is being interested in science and ethics is liking being around people or something) A person might associate the word logic with something different than the researcher.

In a longitudinal study you could "teach" groups. Ultimately the future is being set up rather than assuming the past definitions of the subject are the same as the present definitions used by the tester.

In the end you would be able to see the directions certain people in a controlled context "gravitate" towards. You would also notice intertype relations at work, perhaps(depending on the design of the experiment, which should have minimal internal variations).

Then, of course, you can test for results and note patterns in the end.

That's a pretty general idea, but basically what I am saying is that asking a person questions with assumed connotations might not necessarily be the way to go. You'd also want the people tested to have the same background, that way they don't use their past to mask insecurities or their insecurities to mask their strengths.
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