The Personal Development Test and the Cognitive Dissonance Test: A Comparison

Article excerpt

Personal Development

In 1987 The American Psychiatric Association introduced the "Global Functioning" concept as a very basic element and condition in relation to the health and welfare of individuals. The concept was discussed in some detail in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (Third Edition Revised, 1987). It was the product of 26 advisory committees where the focus was on identifying the major childhood and adolescent behavior disorders and how they affected the productivity and success of individuals. Three national field trials were conducted to help in the development of diagnostic criteria for identifying malfunctioning of individuals. From this research the Global Assessment of Functioning Scale (GAF) was developed and used as a basic diagnostic factor in relation to the present health and welfare of all individuals. The use of that scale from 1987 (DSM-III-R) to the present day remains a basic element in understanding the health and welfare of individuals around the world. It was retained in the revision of the DSM-III-R for the new DSM-IV (1994). From the Global Functioning Concept researched in DSM-III-R and DSM-IV, we have learned that the personal development of individuals is basic and essential for success in all human endeavors.

The Personal Development Test (PDT)

The Personal Development Test (Cassel & Chow, 2002) seeks to adapt the global assessment of functioning more specifically to the personal development and maturity of individuals. It is based largely on John Dewey's definition of a democracy the interdependence of independent individuals. The PDT has 200 true/false type items distributed equally in 8 part scores. The first four part scores seek to measure Personal Maturity (call it a subscore), the ability to make a living in an economic-based society, which refers to the "independence" portion of the Dewey definition. The second four part scores measure another subscore called Social Integration_the ability to get along with the widest array of different kinds of people, and it refers to the "interdependence" element of Dewey's definition. The "Confluence Score" seeks to determine if the individual taking the test has actually read and/or understood the items involved. Each one of these eight part scores seeks to spell out the requirements for successful life of an individual (Cassel, 1953, 1954, 1973, 1996, and 1999). These eight part scores are derived directly from the work of Maslow (1954, and 1959), and Rogers (1945, and 1979), the fathers of Third Force Psychology.

1. Self-esteem--An individual's perception of self-worth as well as peers' depicted worth or feelings of importance of self.

2. Coping Skills--Individual's ability to develop and use effective skills needed to complete tasks successfully.

3. Positive Assertiveness--Positive actions that are directed to offensive and defensive strategies for goal attainment.

4. Locus of Control--Full acceptance and belief that personal success is not a matter of 'luck,' but rather personal decision making.

5. Team Membership--An individual's continuous acceptance and actions are always in full agreement with values and practices of own group membership.

6. Sympathy--An individual's continued ability and practice to empathize and feel the pains of all people and animals.

7. Self-efficacy--The full exercise of control through personal expectations with the necessary expansion of actions to complete task successfully.

8. Caring--Whatever happens to one person or animal anywhere in the world is important to all people everywhere.

Cognitive Dissonance

Second Force Psychology is the theory underlying the use of psychoanlysis throughout the health care facilities of the world today (Taylor, 1962). It derives from the early work of Sigmund Freud in the 1880s where individuals with psychiatric problems has hurts deep in the unconscious which serve to demobilize one's full capacity for work or play. …