Deconstructing the construct: A network perspective on psychological phenomena

V.D. Schmittmann, Angélique O.j. Cramer, Lourens J. Waldorp, Sacha Epskamp, Rogier A. Kievit, Denny Borsboom

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

231 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In psychological measurement, two interpretations of measurement systems have been developed: the reflective interpretation, in which the measured attribute is conceptualized as the common cause of the observables, and the formative interpretation, in which the measured attribute is seen as the common effect of the observables. We advocate a third interpretation, in which attributes are conceptualized as systems of causally coupled (observable) variables. In such a view, a construct like ’depression’ is not seen as a latent variable that underlies symptoms like ’lack of sleep’ or ’fatigue’, and neither as a composite constructed out of these symptoms, but as a system of causal relations between the symptoms themselves (e.g., lack of sleep → fatigue, etc.). We discuss methodological strategies to investigate such systems as well as theoretical consequences that bear on the question in which sense such a construct could be interpreted as real.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)43-53
JournalNew Ideas in Psychology
Volume31
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2013

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Deconstructing the construct: A network perspective on psychological phenomena'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this