This research was supported by the Faculty Fund, Department of Psychology, University of Michigan. The authors would like to thank Christopher Peterson for methodological advice and for comments on a draft of this article.
The Assessment of Complexity of Representations of People Using TAT and Interview Data
Version of Record online: 28 APR 2006
Journal of Personality
Volume 60, Issue 4, pages 809–834, December 1992
How to Cite
Leigh, J., Westen, D., Barends, A., Mendel, M. J. and Byers, S. (1992), The Assessment of Complexity of Representations of People Using TAT and Interview Data. Journal of Personality, 60: 809–834. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-6494.1992.tb00275.x
- Issue online: 28 APR 2006
- Version of Record online: 28 APR 2006
- Manuscript received April 30, 1990; revised May 22, 1991.
ABSTRACT The complexity of mental representations of self and others is a central dimension of personality structure and interpersonal functioning. The richness, differentiation, and integration of representations develops throughout childhood and adolescence and differs among individuals and among various psychopathological populations. The nature and development of mental representations is central to object relations theories in psychoanalysis, and has been receiving empirical attention in the social cognition literature. This article reports the development of instruments for measuring the complexity of mental representations from narrative data, based on an integration of object relations and social cognition research. The present study provides preliminary support for the validity of two measures, one for use with the TAT, and the other for use with interview data such as research interviews, psychotherapy transcripts, and early memories.