The application of confirmatory factor analysis to a multitrait-multimethod assessment of three types of assertiveness as measured by a self-report, other-report and behavioral roleplay



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The present study analyzed a multitrait-multimethod matrix of positive assertiveness, negative assertiveness and hypersensitivity to the opinions of others, as measured by a self-report, an other-report and a behavioral role play technique. A computer program for confirmatory factor analysis (COFAMM, Sorbom & Joreskog, 1976) was used to analyze the matrix. In addition, an in vivo telephone assessment of assertiveness, not included in the matrix, was correlated with other methods in an attempt to provide further validation. The advantages of GFA over Campbell and Fiske's (1959) qualitative analysis was demonstrated in the present study. Rather than assuming independence of traits and methods it was possible to test for such effects. In addition, effects of traits, methods and error were determined along with an estimate of the relationship among traits and among methods. The usefulness was especially demonstrated with the present data which did not allow a clear evaluation by Campbell and Fiske's criteria. The maximum likelihood solution revealed that a three-trait, three-method model, with traits independent from methods, provided the best fit. This indicated the existence of three types of assertiveness rather than one general trait. In regard to the methods, the self-report was found to be the best measure of positive assertiveness, while the other-report was the best measure of negative assertiveness and hypersensitivity. Neither the behavioral roleplay technique nor the in vivo telephone assessment were found to be adequate measures. Further research is necessary to develop behavioral measures of the different types of assertiveness. In addition to the validity and reliability issues, it is suggested that other factors may warrant consideration when evaluating methods. These might include: the relative cost (e.g. time, effort, expense,etc.) in relation to the differential gains; and, perhaps more importantly, the additional information gained, such as, the perception and reactions of others in the subject's or client's social system to their assertive behaviors.



Assertiveness (Psychology)