Defining and validating bipolar disorder in the preschool period
In the physical sciences and in some subareas of psychology where intuitions are strong and widely held, one need not be acutely concerned with the distinction between a concept and the way in which that concept happens to be measured. The reason for the disappointing disparity between the energies already expended and the accomplishments which may be certified lies in the uncertainty which has surrounded the concept of personality and the naïveté in psychology about the logic and justification of measurement.
; concern, dread, fear, foreboding, misgiving, worry, solicitude, uneasiness, apprehension.” [See Anxiety.]Clearly, the notion of anxiety refers to subjective experience.Behavior is susceptible to many transient and otherwise conceptually irrelevant conditions; it is susceptible to being organized in many ways and to many levels of interpretation.In all this flux, how are anchor points to be established?By and large, this approach has employed the method of factor analysis, with all of its strengths and weaknesses.A good illustration of the approach is the work of R. Cattell, recently presented in an integrating, summary volume (1965).Patternings that are found to be stable when these means are applied to variegated data are presumptive evidence of functional entities.
These functional entities may be named and employed thereafter as integrative and consequential concepts.
In the study of personality, however, there is no escaping an immediate, insistent, incessant preoccupation with the problem of linking concepts and empirical operations.
By and large, measuring length by a ruler and weight by a scale does not generate controversy; the relation of these concepts to their respective methods of measurement seems obvious and beyond dispute.
Rather, they represent simply a set of dimensions or ideas in terms of which their expounder finds it convenient and congenial to conceptualize his view of “personality.” Selection of these concepts may be supported by observational, introspectional, clinical, test, or experimental data, of varying degrees of quality and persuasiveness, but often is not.
These concepts serve—or should serve—a heuristic purpose; they provide a way to begin and, subsequently, a way of indicating and integrating diverse phenomena that may fall under the rubric of this conceptual assertion.
The first of these requires the courage to be arbitrary—to propose, essentially by fiat, that a small set of concepts comprehends the important, necessary ways of differentiating people.