How can process-based researchers bridge the gap between individuals and groups? Discover the dynamic p-technique

By A. Solomon Kurz, Yelena L. Johnson, Karen Kate Kellum, & Kelly G. Wilson

July 1, 2019


Behavioral researchers are concluding that conventional group-based analyses often mask meaningful individual differences and do not necessarily map onto the change processes within the lives of individual humans. Hayes et al. (2018) have called for a renewed focus on idiographic research, but with methods capable of nuanced multivariate insights and capable of scaling to nomothetic generalizations. To that end, we present a statistical technique we believe may be useful for the task: the dynamic p-technique. The dynamic p-technique can accommodate multivariate longitudinal data and may be used to conduct single-subject and group-level analyses. After introducing the dynamic p-technique, we provide several examples of how it may be used in practice by presenting the step-by-step analyses of single-subject daily-diary dataset wherein we examined the day-to-day associations between ADHD difficulties and psychotropic medication. Although it has been underutilized by behavioral researchers, we believe p-technique analyses are particularly well-suited to model personal dynamics with nuance and within context and allow researchers to inductively build from idiographic patterns to nomothetic trends. For a fine-grain walk-through of the analyses presented, including the data and statistical code, link to our supplemental materials:

  title = {How can process-based researchers bridge the gap between individuals and groups? Discover the dynamic p-technique},
  author = {A. Solomon Kurz and Yelena L. Johnson and Karen Kate Kellum and Kelly G. Wilson},
  journal = {Journal of Contextual Behavioral Science},
  year = 2019,
  volume = 13,
  page = 60--65,
  doi = {}
Posted on:
July 1, 2019
2 minute read, 244 words
idiographic intensive longitudinal factor analysis single subject p-technique contextual behavior science process-based
See Also:
Individuals are not small groups, II: The ecological fallacy
Individuals are not small groups, I: Simpson's paradox
Measuring social desirability across language and sex: A comparison of Marlowe–Crowne Social Desirability Scale factor structures in English and Mandarin Chinese in Malaysia