Description: The study reviews the structural and psychometric underpinnings of Loevinger's theory of ego development. It is noted that the current literature investigating the validity of Loevinger's model has not adequately addressed the structural assumptions of the theory. "Process" variables are hypothesized to vary depending on the process of structural change. Two such variables, cognitive complexity and the organization of cognitive constructs, were measured in 73 college students, staff, and faculty members in three North Texas institutions. Level of ego development, measured by the Washington University Sentence Completion Test, was assessed in each subject and the pattern of cognitive complexity and construct organization was evaluated across ego levels. Results offer only limited support for the stage model's structural assumptions. Discussion highlights several inadequacies in Loevinger's instrument and offers a direction for possible revision. Implications of the results are examined in terms of current theoretical issues.
Date: August 1985
Creator: Harrison, James Ray