ERIC Number: EJ829211
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007-Dec
Reference Count: 8
Comment on Nesselroade, Gerstorf, Hardy, & Ram, "Idiographic Filters for Psychological Constructs": Another Kind of Discrepancy to Think about
Loehlin, John C.
Measurement: Interdisciplinary Research and Perspectives, v5 n4 p245-247 Dec 2007
In their stimulating article, Nesselroade et al. (Nesselroade, Gerstorf, Hardy, & Ram, this issue) propose "filtering out" idiosyncracy at the measurement level in order to maintain constancy at the construct level. They illustrate their idea using data from a study by Lebo and Nesselroade (1978), in which self-descriptions of individual women over more than 100 days were factored by a variant of P-technique. Nesselroade et al. tested the assumption that the obtained factors, although defined somewhat differently from woman to woman, had the same underlying intercorrelation structure. In this commentary, the author questions what this common structure represent. Is it the structure of personality or the structure of language? He contends that in a way, it is analogous to the much-discussed relation between within-race and between-race differences in intelligence. The two may have different origins: It is, for example, logically possible that within-race variation in IQ mainly reflects the genes, whereas between-race differences in IQ are purely environmental in origin (see Lewontin, 1970). But the fact that within- and between-group differences "may be" different in origin does not establish that they "are" (see Jensen, 1998). By now, there is a considerable psychometric literature addressing how one might approach such a question. Integrating the two areas might provide useful insights into both.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
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