The PAS was developed by Dr. John Gittinger
starting in the 1940s. PAS is a
which means that it is a way of describing what can be seen in people.
The PAS contains enough different types of personality to provide the
opportunity to reflect the diversity observable in people. It does this by
describing several dimensions of personality and then within each dimension,
the developmental interaction of that dimension of personality with our
Some other methods of describing personality, while somewhat useful in
contexts, are too simple. For example, a system which divides all people into
three types is usually confusing to any one of us because we have some traits
from all three types.
This is because there are more than three types of personalities within the
space of human personality.
The PAS is an orderly method of describing personality. With PAS, using
the fundamental (called primitive) personality dimensions along with the
developmental aspects, we arrive at 1024 different types. This is before
considering several other very important variations giving us thousands of
possibilities. The beauty of PAS is that even with so many possible types,
there is an order which makes it easy to understand and relate to
characteristics which we observe.
It is possible to arrive at the personality profile of a person (in PAS
terms) by the use of an objective test, seemingly unrelated to personality.
History of PAS
The PAS was developed by Dr. John Gittinger. Many others participated in
some aspects of the work, especially the refinement of the use of an objective
The first seeds of what became PAS began when Dr. Gittinger was working
among a large population of people undergoing treatment for
psychological problems. During that work, Dr. Gittinger began to notice that
certain personality traits seemed to consistently correlate with performance on
certain parts of a test.
Because the particular test was
to his patients, he had access to a large pool of people for whom he had
test scores, case histories and current observations.
At the time, there was a common assumption that poor
performance on a particular part of the test was due to "stress". However, Dr.
Gittinger noticed that all his subjects were under "stress" and yet some seemed
to score high and some low on that one part of a test (or subtest).
From this beginning seed, Dr. Gittinger observed that other traits also were
correlated with performance on other subtests (parts) of the test.
A key breakthrough was the observation that it was not the absolute performance
on a subtest which was important (e.g. whether a person scored 8 or 12 of a
possible 18), but rather the relative score
compared to other scores for
Thus a 10 on a particular subtest may be a very high score
for person A but a low score for person B.
A second major breakthrough was the observation that the various personality
traits observed correlating to particular test scores seemed to fall into an
order or structure. That is, with the 10 subtests of the test, there were not
10 unrelated personality traits being described, but rather an orderly
structure. The structure will be more fully explained in the next chapter -
it describes three dimensions of personality each with 3 levels of development
through life plus one extra factor.
Another important feature of PAS is that the test is an objective test
(more will be said about this is the next chapter and in appendix 1).
Often, personality testing is done with questions whose purpose is so
obvious to the person being tested that all that can be determined is what the
to be like. While this is useful information, it is
only part of the story.
Over the years, the PAS model was refined as many more people were observed
for whom test scores were available.
Others did extensive work in refining the scoring techniques for the test so
that the testing would more often show results which were an accurate
reflection of the person being tested.