A conjoint measurement analysis of clinical predictions

J Clin Psychol. 1983 Mar;39(2):295-301. doi: 10.1002/1097-4679(198303)39:2<295::aid-jclp2270390229>3.0.co;2-0.


A lack of impressive theories in clinical psychology has been attributed to an excessive reliance on significance testing. Conjoint measurement is a worthwhile alternative to significance testing. Conjoint measurement determines whether data obey the ordinal properties of a model that contains main effect terms, interaction terms, or a combination of the two. Unlike hypothesis testing, with conjoint measurement an increase in statistical power leads to a greater risk of refuting a theory. In this study, conjoint measurement was used to describe how systems-oriented therapists predict the occurrence of suicide. Although the systems approach emphasizes the interaction between an individual and a system, all 10 clinicians were described by an additive model.

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Motivation
  • Psychometrics
  • Psychotherapy*
  • Risk
  • Suicide / psychology*
  • Suicide, Attempted / psychology