Psychometric Infallibility Realized: The One-Size-Fits-All Psychological Profile

David A. Levy, Ph.D.
Pepperdine University

 

Throughout the 20th century, reliability and validity have been the dual goals of psychological testing. Although these standards were adequate for the clinician of yesteryear, they have failed to keep pace with the ever-growing demands of modern society. As we stand at the threshold of the 21st century, the time has arrived for psychological testing to come of age by setting its sights on the third, and most important, psychometric property: interpretive infallibility.

Despite decades of painstaking research on countless batteries of psychological tests, we have scarcely begun to quench people’s insatiable thirst for security in the belief that someone out there understands them better than they understand themselves. This simple but powerful principle – which astrologists, palm readers, psychics, cult leaders, and authors of self-help books have known (and capitalized on) for years – underlies the astonishing success of the consummate method of interpretive infallibility, the One-Size-Fits-All Psychological Profile (OSFAPP).

As its name denotes, the OSFAPP system has been shown to be equally effective for clients of all ages, vocations, races, cultures, religious backgrounds, sexual preferences, political affiliations, and presenting problems. Further, its results are guaranteed irrespective of the clinician’s education, training, or experience. In fact, this system is especially useful to clinicians of limited intelligence.

However, the greatest strength of the OSFAPP lies in its atheoretical nature. Much like the latest installment of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (APA, 1987), the OSFAPP can be used by clinicians of varying theoretical orientations, by clinicians with no theoretical orientation, and even by clinicians who are not quite sure what a theory is. For example, you are free to explain to your client that the results of the OSFAPP were based on a meticulous analysis of any one of a number of the client’s offerings: dreams; free associations; stories about a series of out-of-date, black-and-white pictures; statements to an empty chair; drawings of people, houses, and trees; or favorite fairy tale, color, or television game show host. If none of these techniques appeals to you (or you wish to add an extra touch of mystique to the process), simply inform the client that you drew upon your finely tuned powers of “clinical intuition.”

Armed with the OSFAPP, the clinician of tomorrow will never again run the risk of being embarrassed by an incorrect test interpretation. Why settle for empirically derived, data-based, or scientifically validated interpretations – all of which are subject to error – when you now have it within your power to provide the client with irrefutable truths? At the very least, clients will feel that they have gotten their money’s worth. At best, the OSFAPP method ensures a permanent place for psychological testing in clinical practice, sure to thrive and prosper well into the next century.

 

The One-Size-Fits-All Psychological Profile

 

Developmental History

 

You are the kind of person who was biologically conceived by two, opposite-sexed parents. However, no one, including your mother or father, ever asked you if you wanted to be born. For a period of time, you were totally dependent on others for food, shelter, and safety. Your vocabulary was extremely limited, you found it impossible to stand up without assistance, and you were incapable of doing even the most mundane of tasks, such as brushing your teeth. In fact, for awhile there, you didn’t even have any. On more than one occasion, your cries went unheeded.

 

Things are different now. You are not as young as you were. You’ve had numerous experiences in your life. You’ve had some problems and suffered some disappointments. When things haven’t worked out the way you intended them to, you wished that they had.

 

Physiological Processes

 

You’re the type of person who has many and varied physical needs. For example, when deprived of oxygen, you are likely to experience feelings of suffocation. Sometimes you are thirsty; at other times, you just aren’t. When you are thirsty, you crave something to drink. When you are hungry, you crave something to eat. During periods of intense hunger, you are likely to seek, procure, and ingest food. When you’ve eaten too much food, you usually don’t feel hungry. You are prone to very little appetite when you are in the act of vomiting.

 

If you go without sleep for several days in a row, you are prone to experience feelings of fatigue, weariness, or even exhaustion. The longer you go without sleep, the more tired you are likely to become. When you are asleep, you don’t know it. In fact, it’s only after you’ve woken up that you know that you were.

 

You’re the kind of person who derives pleasure from scratching an itch. Pain hurts you. In fact, you typically attempt to avoid pain. When you are cold, you have a strong tendency to seek heat. When you are too hot, you try to cool down. When you feel sick, you desire to feel better. When having sex, you’re the type of person who would prefer to have an orgasm, rather than not have one. You experience a sense of satisfaction, even pleasure, after relieving your bladder or bowels. You prefer the smell of your own excreta to that of other people’s.

 

Many of your bodily processes have an “automatic” quality to them. For example, when engaging in strenuous physical activity, your heartbeat, blood pressure, and respiration increase – whether you like it or not. When your skin is cut, you are prone to bleed. You’re the type of person who is likely to experience a “gagging” sensation whenever a foreign object (such as a stick, screwdriver, or cooking utensil) is shoved down your throat.

 

Personality Characteristics

 

You have many sides to your personality. There are some parts of your personality that you like more than others. Deep down, you have some pretty deep feelings. These feelings are likely to be much deeper than those feelings that are closer to the surface. When your feelings are hurt, you’re the kind of person who doesn’t like it. Given the choice, you’d rather feel good than bad. Sometimes you are happy; sometimes you aren’t. You like feeling happy, but you don’t like feeling lonely, depressed, or anxious. In fact, the more miserable you are, the more you dislike it. You are more critical of yourself than other people are of you.

 

Interpersonal Functioning

 

You are similar to other people in some ways, but not in other ways. There are many people whom you just do not know. You enjoy having the respect of others. You like some people more than others. When you lose someone dear to you, you are likely to feel sad. In your relationships with others, you’re trying to strike a balance between autonomy and closeness. Deep down, you crave love and approval. You want to be understood. You don’t want to be rejected. You are the kind of person who prefers not being ridiculed, mocked, or tortured by others.

 

Goals and Expectations

 

You wish that you could be more like the person who you really want to be. You wish that you had more control over your life. You want to accomplish more. You would prefer to be successful than unsuccessful.

 

Diagnostic Impression

 

(Check as many as desired, depending on the clinician’s theoretical orientation.)

 

You have intrapsychic conflict

 

You have control issues

 

You have boundary issues

 

You have trust issues

 

You have self-esteem issues

 

You have inner-child issues

 

You have codependency issues

 

You have issues around intimacy and commitment

 

You have ambivalent feelings toward your parents

 

You have maladaptive learning patterns

 

You have unfinished business

 

You have repressed introjects

 

You are searching for meaning in life

 

You are your own worst enemy

 

You come from a dysfunctional family

 

You have a biochemical imbalance

 

Future Prognosis

 

If you continue to live, you will grow older. The longer you live, the more experiences you are likely to have. You will always be older than your younger siblings. At some point in your future, you will be completely unable to talk, walk, or even breath. And this condition will last for a very, very long time.
References

 

American Psychiatric Association. (1987). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (3rd ed. rev.). Washington, DC: Author.

© Copyright 1993 Wry-Bred Press, Inc./Glenn Ellenbogen. All rights reserved.

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