Introducing Person-Centered Methods

  • Mark Stemmler
Part of the SpringerBriefs in Statistics book series (BRIEFSSTATIST)


This chapter explains the term person-centered methods and how Configural Frequency Analysis (CFA) works. Instead of analyzing means, variances and covariances of scale scores as in the common variable-centered approach, the person-centered approach analyzes persons or objects grouped according to their characteristic configurations in contingency tables. CFA is a statistical method that looks for over- and under-frequented cells or patterns. Over-frequented means, that the observations in this cell or configuration are observed more often than expected, under-frequented means that this configurations is observed less often than expected. In CFA a pattern or configuration that contains more observed cases than expected is called a type; similarly, configurations that are less observed than expected are called an antitype. In addition, Meehl’s paradox (Meehl, J Consult Psychol 14:165–171, 1950) is explained. Meehl’s paradox postulates that it is possible to have a bivariate relationship with a zero association or correlation but also a higher order association or correlation. Meehl argued for investigating higher order interactions (beyond bivariate interactions), which can be detected with CFA.


Affective Disturbance Loglinear Modeling Configural Frequency Analysis Bonferroni Alpha Adjustment Multinomial Sampling 
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© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mark Stemmler
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of PsychologyFriedrich-Alexander University of Erlangen-Nuremberg (FAU)ErlangenGermany

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