Date of Award

6-1981

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Major

Psychology

Major Professor

Charles P. Cohen

Committee Members

Howard R. Pollio, Stephen Handel, Wesley Morgan, Michael H. Logan

Abstract

Witkin's differentiation hypothesis predicts communality in the formal aspects of behavior across diverse psychological areas. The purpose of the present research was to determine to what extent Kastenbaum's dimensions of future time perspective (FTP) are related to Witkin's psychological differentiation (PD) construct.

Experimental data were obtained in two phases. First, 60 undergraduates were administered two tests of PD and four tests of FTP. Based on indexes of PD, the 10 most and 10 least psychologically differentiated subjects were asked to return for further testing. The second phase entailed making unobtrusive observations of temporal behavior during the course of 15-minute structured interviews designed to elicit further FTP data.

Weak positive relationships were found between one of the two PD measures (Group Embedded Figures Test) and extension, coherence, and density of FTP, as predicted. It was found that FTP tests did not intercorrelate substantially, supporting the view of FTP as a multifactorial construct and calling for greater specification of its dimensions.

It appears that available tests of PD and FTP are inadequate. Development of ability measures of field dependence and both ends of dimensions of FTP were encouraged and the validity of using the Articulation of Body Concept Scale as a measure of PD was questioned.

Finally, it appears that Witkin's field dependence and field independence concepts do not always adequately describe behavior in the individual case. For this reason, caution regarding how these concepts are utilized was advised.

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