Method

Because the hypotheses of the study dictated that subtle subjective personality changes be measured hi an objective fashion, the selection of measuring instruments was a difficult one. To assess change from an external viewpoint, the researchers used the Thematic Apperception Test (TAT), the Self-Other Attitude Scale (S-0 Scale), and the Willoughby Emotional Maturity Scale (E-M Scale). The TAT, a projective personality test developed by Henry Murray (1938), was used to test hypotheses that called for a standard clinical diagnosis; the S-0 Scale, an instrument compiled at the Counseling Center from several earlier sources, measures antidemocratic trends and ethnocentrism; the E-M Scale was used to compare descriptions of clients' behavior and emotional maturity as seen by two close friends and by the clients themselves.

To measure change from the client's point of view, the researchers relied on the Q sort technique developed by William Stephenson of the University of Chicago (Stephenson, 1953). The Q sort technique begins with a universe of 100 self-referent statements prhited on 3-by-5 cards, which participants are requested to sort into nine piles from "most like me" to "least like me." Researchers asked the participants to sort the cards hito piles of 1, 4, 11, 21, 26, 21, 11, 4, and 1. The resulting distribution approximates a normal curve and allows for statistical analysis. At various pohits throughout the study, participants were requested to sort the cards to describe their self, their ideal self, and the ordinary person.

Participants for the study were 18 men and 11 women who had sought therapy at the Counseling Center. More than half were university students and the others were from the surrounding community. These clients—called the experimental or therapy group—received at least six therapeutic interviews, and each session was electronically recorded and transcribed, a procedure Rogers had pioneered as early as 1938.

The researchers used two different methods of control. First, they asked half the people in the therapy group to wait 60 days before they would receive therapy. These participants, known as the own-control or wait group, were required to wait before receivhig therapy in order to determine if motivation to change rather than the

Therapy group

Testing points

Own-control group

No-wait group

Testing points

Own-control group

Wait period 60 days

Therapy

Follow-up 6-12 months

Therapy

Follow-up 6-12 months

Therapy

Follow-up 6-12 months

Control group

Wait group

No-wait group

60 days

6-12 months

6-12 months

FIGURE 11.1 Design of the Chicago Study.

SOURCE: From C. R. Rogers and R. F. Dymond Psychotherapy and Personality Change, 1954. Copyright (< The University of Chicago Press. Chicago. IL. Reprinted by permission.

1954

therapy itself might cause people to get better. The other half of the therapy group, called the no-wait group, received therapy immediately.

The second control consisted of a separate group of "normals," who had volunteered to serve as participants in a "research on personality" study. This comparison group allowed researchers to determine the effects of such variables as passage of time, knowledge that one is part of an experiment (the placebo effect), and the hnpact of repeated testing. The participants in this control group were divided mto a wait group and a no-wait group, which corresponded to the wait and no-wait therapy groups. Researchers tested both the therapy wait group and the control wait group four thnes: at the beginning of the 60-day wait period prior to therapy, immediately after therapy, and after a 6- to 12-month follow-up period. They administered the no-wait groups the same tests on the same occasions, except, of course, prior to the wait period. The overall design of the study is shown in Figure 11.1.

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