Personality Measurement

By Leonard W. Ferguson | Go to book overview

8
ADJUSTMENT: DIAGNOSTIC APPROACHES

One of our most important daily tasks is that of making adjustments. We must adjust ourselves to the other members of our family, to our neighbors, to our friends, to our school chums, to our business associates, and so forth. And, of course, we expect the other members of our family, our neighbors, our friends, our school chums, and our business associates to make adjustments in our behalf, also. We already know from the doctrine of individual differences that a few people will be very adept at making these adjustments, a few will seem incapable of making any degree of adjustment whatsoever, and the rest of us will fall somewhere between these two extremes.

The task which confronts us in this and in the next chapter is that of describing some of the methods devised to measure the degree of adjustment which an individual can make. We shall find it convenient to discuss these methods under two general categories: diagnostic approaches and prognostic approaches. Under the latter heading we shall discuss the devices measuring adjustment in relation to a specific object and for which a definite prediction of adjustment in a specified situation is desired. For example, under this heading we shall discuss adjustment in marriage, vocational adjustment, and adjustment in military service. We could discuss other specific situations also, but these three will suffice to illustrate the types of methodology which are generally involved.

Under the heading of diagnostic approaches, the subject of our present chapter, we shall discuss adjustment in general. We shall be concerned with the internal (if we can call it that) emotional adjustment of the individual. Is he inwardly happy? Is he at harmony with himself, or is there some basic conflict that keeps him in an inner turmoil? We shall be concerned with the diagnosis of the presence or absence of such adjustment, for we can see, without

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