The Conflict Analysis Battery: Measuring the Unconscious withA Didactic, Diagnostic and Therapeutic Self-Assessment

The Conflict Analysis Battery (CAB) introduces a radical innovation in psychological assessment, offering individuals the key tools to self-understanding and mental health professionals an integrated humanistic diagnostic framework. 

The CAB is a theory-based emotional education tool. It taps creativity for self-discovery, helping clients to follow the natural path to self-healing. It is valid and reliable and combines a network of diagnostic and therapeutic tasks, including a wellness-based personality inventory and a set of interactive creativity exercises. These tasks utilize creativity to identify personal patterns of resolving conflict, highlighting the characteristics ways of dealing with stress. 

The CAB is a diagnostic tool that identifies personality type as a relational diagnosis. The assessment process is therapeutic, utilizing a diverse range of psychotherapies, including art, psychodynamic, cognitive behavioral, and narrative therapies. It leads to insights about one’s pattern and skills to modify the experience of conflict. The experience is educational, aiding clients to learn about their personal patterns and, more broadly, about how the mind works. 

The CAB is based on understanding our unconscious mechanism as a conflict resolution process consisting of six roles: stress, response, anxiety, defense, role reversal, and compromise. The CAB helps identify personal patterns through observing this process within samples of creativity. Each of the exercises in the CAB corresponds to a stage in this six-role process.  Conflictual Memories identify the Stress experience. The Mask Test portrays the choice of Responses. What is hidden behind the mask identifies one’s Anxiety. The Animal Metaphor reveals one’s Defensive behaviors. The Dream Metaphor identifies the state of Role Reversal. The Short Story Metaphor reveals one’s choice of Compromise or Resolution. The CAB's wellness-based model shifts focus from symptom to syndrome. Rather than investigating individual issues, the CAB probes broader patterns, helping the person to understand what caused the initial symptom and how to adaptively respond in the future. 


FEATURES OF THE CONFLICT ANALYSIS BATTERY

The Conflict Analysis Battery represents a radical breakthrough in psychological assessment technology. It has the following differentiating characteristics:
1.     The assessment is theory based; it measures the dimensions of the unconscious as a natural science conflict resolving entity with physical and formal dimensions. The findings validate the premise of the Formal Theoretical assumption that the unconscious resolves conflicts along a six-role sequence guided by three formal operations.
2.     It is a battery. It combines a personality inventory with a set of projectives. The two tests are complementary in evaluating two different dimensions of the same entity. The personality inventory measures the three formal operations; the projective techniques identify the six roles of the dialectic process as syndromally interrelated emotions.
3.     These two types of testing cross validate each other as the relational variables are identified by two types of testing instruments.The relational operations identified by the inventory are illustrated by the projective tests. The tests identify the test taker’s relational modality abstractly and then concretely.
4.     The battery is a self-assessment; the client constructs metaphors and interprets them following a structured questionnaire; s/he integrates them on a template to identify the personal conflict resolution process, one’s relational modality and how to modify one’s adjustment.
5.     The battery is educational confirming the scientific and moral organization of the unconscious. It uses the constructs and formulas of the physics of the SHM by organizing the syndromal dialectic of emotions as a six emotions sequence: stress, response, anxiety, defense, reversal and compromise. The battery measures the physical dimensions of the unconscious conflict resolution process, the three formal or relational variables, and their physical dimensions, while it illustrates them in the symbolic language of the person.
6.     The relational modality instrument is diagnostic. It uses the Kleinian group of four formal transformations and not isolated formal distinctions. These measure relational distinctions, which identify modalities as reciprocal to each other, subordinacy versus dominance, and as opposite to each other as antagonism versus cooperation, and as correlative to each other corresponding to alienation versus mutual respect, low versus high psychic tension.
7.     The projective segment of the self-assessment is therapeutic as it represents an emotional experience. It leads the person to create a conflict resolution and then to personalize the pattern, to see it as a metaphor of personal conflictual experiences, and to start rethinking how one deals with such responses. One draws insights about oneself and arrives at conclusions about how to make changes.
8.     The information is delivered directly to the test taker to readily identify her relational modality. The clinical record is meaningful to the test taker without professional services; trained assistants’ knowledge can reinforce and clarify the personal impressions. The self-assessment being meaningful to the creator the test bypasses the need for an interpreter. The interpretation of the testing is very simple. A template integrates the artwork of the testing providing the personal pattern as an illustrated drama. We examine the power differential in every metaphor by pacing the heroes of stories on the concentric circles of a sociogram and identifying the cooperative versus antagonistic interactions with appropriate vectors within the circles.
9.     The assessment is cost-effective. The interpretation of personality inventories can be complex as well with many traits considered independently from each other. The interpretation of projectives like Rorschach and TAT is a very elaborate technical procedure. The interpretation of the CAB is relatively easy and simple. It is a self-assessment; the test taker generates the art and its interpretation leading to insights and changes without requiring professional services.
10.  The assessment generates a valuable clinical record useful for the client and any observers, be that teachers or clinicians/therapists. The assessment represents a standardized valid and reliable clinical record that reflects the intellectual and emotional state of the client and her/his sociometric realities. The assessment is useful to the client, the therapist, the educator in the classroom, the coach in an organizational setting.
11.  The tests are valid and reliable. Its statistical profile scores surpass by far existing tests’ validity and reliability ratings. 

Features of THE ONLINE DELIVERED SELF-ASSESSMENT

1.  Relational Modality Evaluation Scale. Online score reports and feedback. 
2.  The Creativity Exercises. Interactive online drawing and writing tools. The creativity exercises guide emotional catharsis. They identify insights in one’s particular path to conflict resolution detecting the consequences of role choices as symptoms. The insights guide a person to power management changes optimizing one’s way of relating. Online score reports and feedback.
3.  Feedback Tables: The program generates a record combining item selections, drawings, writings, and reflections in the following seven tables:

  • Personality Inventory Analysis Table
  • Creativity Table
  • Insight Table
  • Changes Table
  • Self-Reflection Table
  • Outcome Query Table
  • Battery Transcript Table

Contrasting The Conflict Analysis Battery with Traditional Assessments

In contrast to widely used instruments, it is a theory based self-assessment that helps the test taker to identify both her/his relational modality and its syndromal unfolding manifested as the orderly six-role states bound into a dramatic continuum.
Current psychological diagnostic instruments identify traits, which do not explain psychodynamically the pathogenetic origin of symptoms or serve a therapeutic function for the test taker. The CAB identifies patterns and also generates insights and directives for changes.
The focus on unrelated traits is exemplified with the statistical analysis of all assessments identifying five factors of personality held together not relationally but simply with acronyms; one of them is Ocean for the five factors of statistical analysis of all assessments. The letters correspond to Openness to Experience, Conscientiousness, Extraversion, Agreeableness, and Neuroticism. Formal Theory’s Conflict Analysis Battery identifies patterns whereas traditional psychological assessments identify traits.The Battery’s diagnostic entities, the relational modalities and the psychic tension, are equivalent to the OCEAN five factors of unrelated clusters of traits. The difference is that four of the factors correspond to the four interrelated relational modalities, while the fifth factor identifies neuroticism corresponding to the psychic tension scale.
·      Openness corresponds to the dominant cooperative relational modality
·      Conscientiousness to the submissive antagonistic relational modality
·      Extraversion to the dominant antagonistic modality
·      Agreeableness to the submissive cooperative relational modality
·      Neuroticism corresponds to the psychic tension scale.

The Conflict Analysis Battery identifies patterns as relational modalities examining the inventory responses along the three formal dichotomies and also along the six role-states process of their syndromal unfolding as alternative conflict resolution processes. The three formal dichotomies are the measurable dimensions of the unconscious process. These are the  dichotomies of passivity/activity, antagonism/cooperation and alienation versus mutual respect. These identify four formally interrelated conflict resolution alternatives: the relational modalities, diagnostic categories of wellness, and the psychic tension corresponding to intensity of conflicts identifying psychopathology as qualification of wellness.