Conditional Reasoning: A Review and Suggestions for Future Test Development and Validation

James M. LeBreton, Elizabeth M. Grimaldi, Jeremy L. Schoen

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Lawrence R. James spent the last 20 years of his 35-year career developing and validating a new theory of personality that he called conditional reasoning. This theory was focused on mapping and measuring core aspects of the implicit (i.e., unconscious) personality. In this article, we (a) review James’s seminal contributions to the theory and measurement of conditional reasoning, (b) discuss subsequent contributions made in the area of conditional reasoning, and (c) provide a brief “look under the hood” at James’s approach to test development and validation. This final section of our paper is designed to familiarize other researchers with the protocols that James and his colleagues have used over the past 20 years. Many of these protocols have gone unmentioned or only briefly acknowledged (e.g., in conference presentations or informal meetings); indeed, many of these validation protocols were “implicit” in the thinking of James and his approach to the study of personality. Having benefited from working closely with James, we were privy to many of these implicit assumptions and protocols that privately guided James’s early work on conditional reasoning.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)65-95
Number of pages31
JournalOrganizational Research Methods
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Decision Sciences(all)
  • Strategy and Management
  • Management of Technology and Innovation

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