Date of Award:

1992

Document Type:

Dissertation

Degree Name:

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department:

Psychology

Advisor/Chair:

Michael Bertoch

Abstract

Modified administration techniques that relied on patient verbalization of reasoning on each item were devised. For the WCST, verbalized scores correlated highly with conventional scores. However, patterns of age, education, and IQ covariates for each scoring condition were very different, raising questions concerning what such verbalized scores measured. Further research based upon a prospective research design was suggested to address this question. Factor analysis of WCST scores for each scoring condition resulted in almost identical three-factor solutions in each case: (a) ineffective, perseverative responding; (b) nonperseverative number errors; and (c) Maintaining Set. A three-part hierarchy of response determinants for the CT was utilized, consisting of (a) concrete perceptual attributes; (b) cognitive organization of perceptual attributes into abstract patterns; and (c) relating abstract patterns to the corresponding number responses. Decision trees were devised to prescribe a set of rules for coding each score. Utilization of this approach yielded adequate test-retest reliability for recoding responses. Sets of variables for each subtest were factor analyzed, with second order factor analysis of all factors from each subtest in order to determine if common cognitive process scores on each subtest described cognitive process scores on other subtests. Results revealed similar factor solutions for each subtest, but subtest-specific factors were not predictive of similar factor scores on other subtests, except for Subtests V and VI, which are based upon the same principle. Factors related to Maintaining Set predicted most of the variance in subtest error scores. Factor scores related to Determinant Shifting were predictive of error scores to a much lesser degree than Maintaining Set factor scores. Determinant Shifting factor scores appeared to be independent of Maintaining Set factor scores, and also showed much more independence from age, education, and IQ covariates. The relationship between CT and WCST factor scores was slightly lower than the relationship between CT error scores and WCST summary scores. Suggestions for further research were discussed.

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