Scoring the Projective Differential
Once the PD Choices and any additional information (i.e., Picture Naming, L-Mode) in a given administration have been acquired, there are several ways to interpret the PD Choice results through various scoring alternatives. Which types of scores and analysis are suitable depends upon the information sought.
Epitomizing Picture Scores (JOGs only):
Since all JOGs consist of all possible combinations of sets of 5 PD pictures, there are zero to four times that a given picture can be chosen on a Topic. The Epitomizing Picture Score is the number of times a given picture was chosen on a single Topic (often expressed as a percentage). A score of “4” (or 100%) reflects the fact that the picture was chosen every time it appeared on a Topic, and thus somehow epitomizes the Topic – there are features of the picture that somehow correlate with a participant’s perceptions of the Topic. Epitomizing Picture Scores can be calculated at the individual participant level and/or the group level.
Epitomizing Picture Scores provide a window into qualitative characteristics that are shared by pictures and a given topic. This feature figures prominently in some of the optional activities that may bundled in a PD administration, especially when the study includes Picture Naming as an Administration option. Note that this augments the quantitative information provided by SCSs between Topics. Epitomizing Picture Scores are often expressed as a percentage.
Same Choice Scores (SCSs):
This “SCS” measures how frequently the participants made the same choices for two PD topics. Several studies have shown that this is the most valid quantitative scoring method for interpreting PD choices – it is valid on an individual level with J30 and a group level with all other PD stimulus sets. It is “self-indexing” in the sense that each participant”s unique individual outlook and responses to the pictures in relationship with the topics are the basis for this comparison score between two topics. SCSs can be calculated at the individual participant level and/or the group level.
SCSs provide a measure of the perceived similarity between two topics at a deep, preverbal level. The SCSs are necessary when interested in attitudes towards assessed topics, and identification with assessed topics. SCSs are also used in cases where evaluation the deep perception of various options or choices is desired, or the level of hopefulness or optimism (i.e., comparing a topic about the present with a topic about the future or potential).
The Effect Size of the SCSs can be calculated to augment the quasi-qualitative assessment of the degree of meaningfulness of the perceived similarity between topics denoted by the SCS. Effect size can also be useful when analyzing data among different groups of respondents (e.g., different departments, different “levels” within an organization, etc.), as a measure of the meaningfulness of the differences in perception among those groups. This would generally be reserved for cases involving a very detailed level of quantitative analysis is required to “back up” the interpretation offered by an experienced PD administrator.
This is a statistical measure of the non-randomness in a set of responses to a single topic by a group of participants. Since there is no rational basis for making PD choices, when a groups’ responses depart from randomness, they are exhibiting some sort of agreement (or consensus) in their non rational, nonverbal PD choice behaviors. Consensus Scores may be calculated on either or both of two levels of analysis: individual pairings or epitomizing pictures. We have repeatedly found significant Consensus Scores from groups of respondents when they have similar understandings of what the Topic is and also have similar feelings toward it. In fact, the Consensus Score is an indicator of the degree of connotative unanimity within a group about a Topic as well as an indicator of group cohesiveness and shared vision. This measure is one of the unique aspects of the PD.
INcongruence measures are possible only when the PD is accompanied by L-Mode ratings, a Semantic Differential or an adjective check list. These indicate the degree to which what we say we feel matches what the nonverbal PD responses indicate that we feel – i.e., the degree to which we “walk our talk.” These measures also serve as an indication of the degree of political/culture pressure to present a certain image, denial of what’s really going on, or awareness within an organization. INcongruence may be positive or negative, revealing hidden dangers or unrealized positive potential. INcongruence measures are among the most useful and unique features of the PD.
Connotative Interpretations (R12 stimulus set only):
Through a scoring program, every Topic may be interpreted connotatively across all of 50 emotional words (e.g., good, bad, active, passive, etc.). When the sorted from highest to lowest, these connotative profiles provide vivid descriptions of the Topics.
Correspondence Analysis (CA) Mapping:
A computerized scoring program provides an output that positions all the Topics being analyzed on a two or three dimensional visual map, and it also includes the locations of all the PD pictures relative to the Topics. Topics and pictures closer together have more in common than Topics and pictures that are farther apart. CA Mapping is especially useful in tracking changes in the perceptions of Topics through time, comparing perceptions of different cohorts, and in showing connotative forces (attraction, avoidance, etc.) that are at play.
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