The measurement of psychodynamic variables.

R. Plutchik, H. R. Conte, T. B. Karasu, P. Buckley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


The paper is concerned with the integration of psychodynamic theory with psychometric theory in order to find meaningful ways to measure psychodynamic variables. Four reasons are suggested for the use of self-report tests in psychotherapy research. These include the need for reliable measuring instruments, cost-efficient methods of data collection, and the progressive refinement of "fuzzy" concepts through the process of test construction. A three-stage approach to outpatient assessment is presented which is called sequential psychodiagnostic evaluation. The first stage refers to the evaluation of crisis issues such as suicidality or psychosis; the second to egodystonic symptom assessment; and the third refers to the assessment of egodystonic states such as personality traits, ego strength and defenses. The construction of a number of these scales is illustrated and their use in a research study of predictors of psychotherapy outcome described.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)132-147
Number of pages16
JournalHillside Journal of Clinical Psychiatry
Issue number2
StatePublished - Dec 1 1988

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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