Estimating Cognitive Profiles Using Profile Analysis via Multidimensional Scaling (PAMS)

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Psychology | Social and Behavioral Sciences


Two of the most popular methods of profile analysis, cluster analysis and modal profile analysis, have limitations. First, neither technique is adequate when the sample size is large. Second, neither method will necessarily provide profile information in terms of both level and pattern. A new method of profile analysis, called Profile Analysis via Multidimensional Scaling (PAMS; Davison, 1996), is introduced to meet the challenge. PAMS extends the use of simple multidimensional scaling methods to identify latent profiles in a multi-test battery. Application of PAMS to profile analysis is described. The PAMS model is then used to identify latent profiles from a subgroup (N = 357) within the sample of the Woodcock-Johnson Psychoeducational Battery-Revised (WJ-R; McGrew, Werder, & Woodcock, 1991; Woodcock & Johnson, 1989), followed by a discussion of procedures for interpreting participants' observed score profiles from the latent PAMS profiles. Finally, advantages and limitations of the PAMS technique are discussed.

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APA Citiation: Kim, S., Frisby, C.L., & Davison, M.L. (2004). Estimating cognitive profiles using profile analysis via multidimensional scaling (PAMS). Multivariate Behavioral Research, 36(4), 595-624.