PAS Overview - Study of PAS Profiles of Felons

Non-Technical Overview

Why the PAS?

The PAS Symbol system

Applications of the PAS

The PAS Model (brief)

The PAS Model (more in depth)

Deriving a PAS profile

Wechsler Scores and the PAS

Examples of Case Studies

Study of felons

Felons, Non-felons and the A - U Dimension of the PAS

Krauskopf and Saunders say:

"We have hypothesized that people will seek out circumstances where they can use their better skills and avoid their lesser ones. One very general , but testable, prediction deriving from this hypothesis is that different life circumstances should contain people with different PAS patterns."(Personality and Ability: The Personality Assessment System, 1994, p.46.)

The following are some simple tests of that hypothesis. The first compares the differences in the distribution of PAS patterns in a group of 634 incarcerated felons with that of 4931 non-institutionalized U.S residents. These 4931 cases are drawn from a wide variety of sources; there are probably some in this group that may have been (or should have been) incarcerated. The test, therefore, is a conservative one since the only characteristic that distinguishes the non-felon group is that they were not institutionalized when the data were obtained.
Here is a table showing the raw data:

Number of cases: Felons and Non-Felons (Primitive PAS Types Shown)
ERA ERU EFA EFU IRA IRU IFA IFU Total
Felon 155 34 49 20 216 48 88 24 634
Non-Felon 779 923 394 526 676 787 361 483 4931



These data show a clear difference in the distributions of Primitive PAS patterns between these two groups. (All results presented below are significant at the .01 level or higher. Details may be obtained by contacting PASF) The next chart shows these data expressed as proportions:



These results will surprise no one familiar with the PAS because of the principle that we all tend to move toward those life-settings that maximize our strengths and minimize our weaknesses. A primitive A child has so little difficulty in adjusting to the varying demands of those around him and pleasing them that four outcomes are more likely for Primitive A's than for Primitive U's. These expected outcomes are:

  1. Primitive A children are more likely to evade the presures to compensate than are primitive U's because of their ability to "appear" to have learned social requirements when, in fact, they have not.
  2. Primitive A's would, therefore, be expected to reach adulthood with less compensation than Primitive U's.
  3. The combination of skill in social manipulativeness plus fewer of the self-controls acquired through compensation should result in a larger proportion of such people choosing to engage in anti-social behavior.
  4. We should, therefore, expect to find more Primitive A's incarcerated than Primitive U's.

In the table and chart above, the PAS Primitive A - U dimension obviously carries most of the weight in making the distinction between felons and non-felons when compared with the other two PAS dimensions. If we collapse the PAS space into the single dimension, A - U, we see the importance of the A - U dimension as a discriminator between these two groups.

Number of cases: Felons and Non-Felons (Primitive PAS Types Shown)
Prim. A Prim. U Total
Felon 508 126 634
Non-Felon 2212 2719 4931



This chart shows these differences expressed as proportions.




This leads us to an even more general expectation: There will be more Uncompensated, Unmodified A's than Uncompensated, Unmodified U's, no matter where we look. This expectation is borne out by examining the entire PASF Master data base. The following chart compares the proportion of Primitive A's who reach adulthood with neither Compensation nor Modification with Primitve U's who do the same. That is, these are the people who, as adults, have the same PAS pattern they had as children. These data are drawn from the Personality Assessment System Foundation Master Data Base of over 40,000 subjects. 19,056 of these were residents of the U.S, when the data were obtained; this smaller sub-group provides the data for the following table and chart.

Number of cases:
Same PAS Diff. PAS Total
Prim A 155 11211 11366
Prim U 26 7664 7690


The chart below shows these data expressed as proportions. Though total lack of change is rare in any pattern, when it does happen, the primitive pattern is more than four times as likely to contain an A than a U.




The kinds of distinctions shown above form the basis of David Saunders' work with Reference Groups. Krauskopf and Saunders say that reference groups are, "...a sophisticated method of looking at life circumstance. The basis of this technique is the assumption that if there is anything at all to the construct system and measurement technique, [of the PAS] then persons with similar patterns of scores should show highly similar behavior of some kind.... For validation, the behavior identified should be consistent with the theoretical predictions of the PAS pattern (or patterns) within the group." (Krauskopf and Saunders, 1944, p.48.) For discussions of Saunders' work on this topic, please visit Reference Groups.