Measures of cognitive style

The Test of Behavioral Rigidity (TBR; Schaie, 1955, 1960; Schaie & Parham, 1975) contains the following three subtests:

1) Capitals test: This test was adapted from Bernstein’s (1924) study of quickness and intelligence and represents the Spearmanian, or “functional,” approach to the study of preservation and rigidity. Participants copy a printed paragraph that contains some words starting with capital letters, others spelled entirely in capitals, and some starting with lower case letters, with the remaining letters in capitals. In the second half of the test, participants recopy the paragraph, substituting capitals for lower case letters and lower case letters for capitals. Two and a half minutes are allowed for each half of the test.

This test yields two scores: copying speed (Cap), the number of words correctly copied in the first half of the tes‚Äčt; and instructional set flexibility (Cap-R), the latter score representing the ratio (rounded to integers) of the number of correctly copied words in the second series to those in the first series.

2) Opposites test: In this newly constructed test, following the work of Scheier and Ferguson (1952), three lists of simple words must be responded to by first giving antonyms, then synonyms, and finally antonyms or synonyms, depending on whether the stimulus word is printed in upper or lower case letters. Each list has 40 stimulus words and a time limit of 2 min.

The test yields three scores: an associational speed (Opp) score, which is the sum of correct responses in the first two lists; and two associational flexibility scores. For this purpose, List 3 is examined for responses that are incorrect, responses started incorrectly, and erasures. The first score (Opp-R1) is obtained by the formula:

Series 3 errors

100 – ————————- x 100

Series 3 total

The second score (Opp-R2) involves the formula:

Series 3 correct

———————————————– x 100

(1/2 (Series 1 correct + Series 2 correct))

3) TBR questionnaire: Seventy-five true-or-false items include 22 modified flexibility-rigidity items (R scale) and 44 masking social responsibility items from the California Psychological Inventory (Gough 1957; Gough, McCloskey, & Meehl, 1952; Schaie, 1959b). Also included are 9 items (P scale) constructed by means of Guttman scaling of a preservative behavior scale first used by Lankes (1915).

The TBR yields factor scores for the latent dimensions of Psychomotor Speed, Motor-Cognitive Flexibility, and Attitudinal Flexibility. It also yields several personality trait scores (see below). The three factor scores are obtained by multiplying the standardized factor scores for the eight observed scores from the TBR subtests as follows:
MCF = .25 Cap-R + .35 Opp-R1 + .40 Opp-R2
AF = .50 R scale + .50 P scale
PS = .60 Cap + .40 Opp

For comparison across measures, all psychometric tests were standardized to T-scores with a mean of 50 and a standard deviation of 10, based on all data collected at first test.