as substantive disease entities, were reinterpreted with the behavioral paradigm as inductive summaries, labels that bind together a body of observations for the purpose of clinical communication. For example, whereas depression refers to a genuine pathology in the person for a traditional clinician, a behavioral clinician sees only its operational criteria and their label, not a disease. As a result, behavioral assessment and traditional assessment could thus speak the same tongue, while retaining their respective identities and distinctions. This allowed behavioral therapists to rationalize their use of diagnostic concepts without being untrue to their behavioral core. Likewise, as the cognitive revolution got underway in earnest in the late 1960s and early 1970s, behavioral psychologists began seeking ways to generalize their own perspective to bring cognition under the behavioral umbrella. In time, cognitive activity was reinterpreted as covert behavior. Finally, the organism itself began to be seen a source of reinforcement and punishment, with affective mechanisms being viewed as the means through which reinforcement occurs. Contemporary behavioral assessment, then, is no longer focused merely on surface behavior. Instead, behavioral assessment is now seen as involving three "response systems," namely, the verbal-cognitive mode, the affective-physiological mode, and the overt-motor response system, a scheme originated by Lang (1968).
However, behavioral theorists have gone far toward rediscovering personality. The relationship among responses across the three response systems, for example, has been extensively studied (see Voeltz & Evans, 1982, for a review). Behavioral psychologists now talk about the organization of behavior, an idea that draws on the conception that the individual person is more than a sum of parts, even where those parts are only behavioral units. An especially seminal thinker, Staats (1986) has developed a more systematic approach to personality that broadens the behavioral tradition. In what he terms "paradigmatic behaviorism," Staats has sought a "third-generation behaviorism" that adds a developmental dimension, arguing that the learning of "basic behavioral repertoires" begins at birth and proceeds hierarchically, with each new repertoire providing the foundation for successively more complex forms of learning. Thus, some repertoires must be learned before others. For example, both fine motor movements and the alphabet must be learned before cursive writing can develop. Staats holds that repertoires are learned in the language-cognitive, emotional-motivational, and sensorimotor response systems, and these systems are interdependent and only pedagogically distinct. Personality thus becomes the total complex hierarchical structure of repertoires and reflects the individual's unique learning history. Different repertoires mediate different responses, so individual differences simply reflect different learning histories. Thus, the concept of a behavioral repertoire is simultaneously both overt and idiographic, making it acceptable from both behavioral and personality perspectives and capable of spanning both normality and abnormality.
and schizoid personalities, end points of a continuum of extroversion-introversion. The relationships are complex and technically unimportant now. Many are reviewed in subsequent chapters.
The psychotic level of personality organization need not be described in detail, for nearly everything we think of as personality is lost in this case. Rather than integration and organization, we find only broken, random pieces, with little or no sense of an integrated identity. Instead of distinction, there is often fusion between self and other or even between self and physical environment. The psychotic level is particularly characterized by an intense and inappropriate aggression. There are no personality disorders described in the DSM-IV that typically function at the psychotic level.
Was this article helpful?