Research Committee

Research literature

  1. References for Psychodrama research
  2. The Delphi Method
  3. Delphi references
  4. Delphi method for Graduate research
  5. Hermeneutic single case efficacy design
  6. Hierarchy of Research Design
  7. Qualitative Research
  8. Quantitative Research on Councelling
  9. Research of Effectiveness of Psychotherapy
  10. Systematic case studies   

We are asking excuses for the links that were opening last week.

1. References for Psychodrama Research and other Writings

2003
Freeman-Gregory-D, Sullivan-Kathleen, Fulton-C-Ray Effects of creative drama on self-concept, social skills, and problem behaviour. JOURNAL OF EDUCATIONAL RESEARCH; Vol. 96(3), (Jan-Feb 2003), p. 131-138
Kipper-David-A, Ritchie-Timothy-D The effectiveness of psychodramatic techniques: A meta-analysis. Group Dynamics Vol. 7(1), (Mar 2003), p. 13-25

Creative Therapies with Traumatised Children
Anne Bannister
Jessica Kingsley Publications
Paperback; order online
1-84310-155-6
2003 176 pages

2002
Diamond-Raab, L. Art Therapy, Psychodrama, and Verbal Therapy: An Integrative Model of Group Therapy in the Treatment of Adolescents with Anorexia Nervosa and Bulimia NervosaCHILD AND ADOLESCENT PSYCHIATRIC CLINICS OF NORTH AMERICA 2002 VOL. 11; PART 2 pp. 343-364
Kipper, D. A. & Matsumoto, M. From Classical to Eclectic Psychodrama: Conceptual Similarities Between Psychodrama and Psychodynamic and Interpersonal Group TreatmentsINTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF GROUP PSYCHOTHERAPY 2002 VOL. 52 PART 1 pp.-120
Richarz-Bernhard, Roemisch-Sylvelin Acting-out: Its functions within analytic group psychotherapy and its transformation into dreams INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF GROUP PSYCHOTHERAPY; Vol. 52(3), (Jul 2002), p. 337-353;
Takahara, A., Psychodrama for Adolescents with Autism JAPANESE JOURNAL OF SPECIAL EDUCATION 2002 VOL. 40; PART 4 pp 363-374
Zhou, Y. A Controlled Study on Psychodrama to Improve Self – esteem of Patients with Schizophrenia CHINESE MENTAL HEALTH JOURNAL 2002 VOL. 16; PART 10 pp 669-671

Communicating with Children and Adolescents. Action for Change
Edited by Anne Bannister and Annie Huntington
Paperback; order online
1-84310-025-8
2002 240 pages
£16.95 $25.95

2001
Boury, M., Treadwell, T. Kumar, V. K. Integrating Psychodrama and Cognitive Therapy-An Exploratory Study INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF ACTION METHODS 2001 VOL. 54; PART 1 pp 13-37
Boury-Michelle, Treadwell-Thomas, Kumar-V-K Integrating psychodrama and cognitive therapy–an exploratory study INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF ACTION METHODS: PSYCHODRAMA, SKILL TRAINING AND ROLE PLAYING; Vol. 54(1), (Spr. 2001), p. 13-37;
Casey, A. Psychodrama: Applied Role Theory in Psychotherapeutic Interventions JOURNAL OF HEART CENTRED THERAPIES 2001 VOL. 4 (1) pp. 67-84
Hare-Sharon-E, Hare-A-Paul Role repertoires of members in an effective small group: A simulation. INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF ACTION METHODS: PSYCHODRAMA, SKILL TRAINING, AND ROLE PLAYING; Vol. 54(3), (Fall 2001), p. 91-105;
Laxenaire, M. Psychical trauma, group-analysis and psychodrama REVUE FRANCAISE DE PSYCHIATRIE ET DE PSYCHOLOGIE MEDICALE 2001 NUMB 45 pp 6-10
Treadwell-Thomas, Lavertue-Nicole, Kumar-V-K, Veeraraghavan-Venkatesh The Group Cohesion Scale-Revised: Reliability and validity. INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF ACTION METHODS: PSYCHODRAMA, SKILL TRAINING, AND ROLE PLAYING Vol. 54(1), (Spr. 2001), p. 3-12

2000
Brooks-Dale-Theodore, The meaning of change through therapeutic enactment in psychodrama DISSERTATION ABSTRACTS INTERNATIONAL Section A: Humanities & Social Sciences; Vol. 60(7-A)(2000), p. 2382
Hudgins, M. K. et al (2000) The “containing double”: a clinically effective psychodrama intervention for PTSD THE BRITISH JOURNAL OF PSYCHODRAMA AND SOCIODRAMA vol. 15 (1) pp. 58 – 77
Kirk, K. (2000) Co-operative Inquiry in Psychodrama Research THE BRITISH JOURNAL OF PSYCHODRAMA AND SOCIODRAMA vol. 15 (1) pp. 5- 22
Lambie-Ian, Hickling-Lisa, Seymour-Fred, Simmonds-Les, Robson-Marlyn, Houlahan-ChanelUsing wilderness therapy in treating adolescent sexual offenders JOURNAL OF SEXUAL AGGRESSION; Vol. 5(2), (2000), p. 99-117
Rawlinson, J. (2000) Does Psychodrama Work? A review of the literature THE BRITISH JOURNAL OF PSYCHODRAMA AND SOCIODRAMA Vol. 15 Number 2 pp. 67 – 101
Wilkinson, P. (2000) A group’s experience of process in person-centred psychodrama: a qualitative inquiry THE BRITISH JOURNAL OF PSYCHODRAMA AND SOCIODRAMA vol. 15 (1) pp. 23 – 41

Psychodrama with Trauma Survivors: Acting Out Your Pain
Edited by Peter Felix Kellermann and M. K. Hudgins
Jessica Kingsley Publications
Paperback; order online
1-85302-893-2
2000 352 pages
£19.95 $29.95

1999
Avron, O. Psychodrama: The Process of Dramatizing Scenarios GROUP ANALYSIS 1999 VOL. 32; NUMBER 3 pp 381-396
Baim, C., Allam, J., Eames, T., Dunford, S. & Hunt, S. The Use of psychodrama to enhance victim empathy in sex offenders: An evaluation JOURNAL OF SEXUAL AGGRESSION 1999 VOL. 4; NUMBER 1 pp 4-14
Carbonell, D. M. & Parteleno-Barehmi, C. Psychodrama Groups for Girls Coping with TraumaINTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF GROUP PSYCHOTHERAPY 1999 VOL. 49; NUMBER 3 pp 285-306
Haynes-Wendy-Lynne The theatre as container for personal narrative and the psychotherapeutic process DISSERTATION ABSTRACTS INTERNATIONAL: SECTION B: THE SCIENCES & ENGINEERING; Vol. 59(7-B) (1999), p. 3693;

1998
Bemak-Fred, Young-Mark-E Role of catharsis in group psychotherapy INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF ACTION METHODS: PSYCHODRAMA, SKILL TRAINING, AND ROLE PLAYING Vol. 50(4), (Win 1998), p. 166-184
Hudgins-M-Katherine, Drucker-Karen The containing double as part of the Therapeutic Spiral Model for treating trauma survivors INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF ACTION METHODS: PSYCHODRAMA, SKILL TRAINING, AND ROLE PLAYING; Vol. 51(2), (Sum 1998), p. 63-74;
Kipper, D. A. Psychodrama and Trauma: Implications for Future Interventions of Psychodramatic Role-Playing Modalities INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF ACTION METHODS 1998 VOL. 51; NUMBER 3 pp 113-121
Naar, R., Doreian-Michael, C. & Santhouse, R. Short-term Psychodrama with Victims of Sexual Abuse INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF ACTION METHODS 1998 VOL. 51; NUMBER 2 pp. 75-82
Treadwell-Thomas-W, Kumar-V-K, Stein-Stephen-A, Prosnick-Kevin Sociometry: Tools for research and practice. INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF ACTION METHODS: PSYCHODRAMA, SKILL TRAINING, AND ROLE PLAYING; Vol. 51(1), (Spr. 1998), p. 23-40;
Williams, A. Psychodrama and Family Therapy – What’s in a Name? INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF ACTION METHODS 1998 VOL. 50; NUMBER 4, pp. 139-165
Wood-Doris, Kumar-V-K, Treadwell-Thomas-W, Leach-Evan Perceived cohesiveness and sociometric choice in ongoing groups INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF ACTION METHODS: PSYCHODRAMA, SKILL TRAINING, AND ROLE PLAYING Vol. 51(3), (Fall 1998), p. 122-137

1997
Hug, E. Current Trends in Psychodrama: Eclectic and Analytic Dimensions ARTS IN PSYCHOTHERAPY 1997 VOL. 24; NUMBER 1 pp. 31-36
Kipper-David-A Classical and contemporary psychodrama: A multifaceted, action-oriented psychotherapy. INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF ACTION METHODS: PSYCHODRAMA, SKILL TRAINING, AND ROLE PLAYING; Vol. 50(3) (1997), p. 99-107
Lambie, I., Robson, M., & Simmonds, L. Embedding Psychodrama in a Wilderness Group Program for Adolescent Sex Offenders JOURNAL OF OFFENDER REHABILITATION 1997 VOL. 26; NUMBER 1 / 2 pp 89-108
Mehdi Pour Rezaeian, Sen, A. K. & Sen Mazumdar, D. P. The Usefulness of Psychodrama in the Treatment of Depressed Patients INDIAN JOURNAL OF CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGY 1997 VOL. 24; NUMBER 1 pp: 82-88
Rezaeian, M. P. The Effectiveness of Psychodrama in Changing the Attitudes Among Depressed Patients JOURNAL OF PERSONALITY AND CLINICAL STUDIES 1997 VOL. 13; NUMBER 1 / 2 pp. 19-24
Wilkins, P. (1997) Psychodrama and Research THE BRITISH JOURNAL OF PSYCHODRAMA AND SOCIODRAMA vol. 12 pp. 23 – 34

1996
Bennion, M. (1996) An examination of the therapeutic validity of psychodrama within nursing practice unpublished dissertation, Univ. of Wales, College of Medicine
Edwards, J. Examining the Clinical Utility of the Moreno Social Atom Projective Test JOURNAL OF GROUP PSYCHOTHERAPY PSYCHODRAMA AND SOCIOMETRY 1996 VOL. 49 NUMBER 2 pp. 51-75
Kedem-Tahar-Efrat, Felix-Kellerman-Peter Psychodrama and drama therapy: A comparison.ARTS IN PSYCHOTHERAPY; Vol. 23(1), (1996), p. 27-36
Ragsdale, K. G., Cox, R. D., Finn, P. & Eisler, R. M. Effectiveness of Short-Term Specialized Inpatient Treatment for War-Related Posttraumatic Stress Disorder: A Role for Adventure-Based Counseling and Psychodrama JOURNAL OF TRAUMATIC STRESS 1996 VOL. 9; NUMBER 2 pp. 269-284

1995
Bradbury, S. (1995) What does psychodrama do? Using the repertory grid to measure changeTHE BRITISH JOURNAL OF PSYCHODRAMA AND SOCIODRAMA Vol. 10 (2) pp. 19 – 26
Remer, R. & Finger, V. S. A Comparison of the Effects of Different Sociometry Components on Personal and Interpersonal Growth JOURNAL OF GROUP PSYCHOTHERAPY PSYCHODRAMA AND SOCIOMETRY 1995 VOL. 48; NUMBER 3 pp 114-116
Sachnoff, E. A. Managed Care and Inpatient Psychodrama – Short Sessions Within Short StaysJOURNAL OF GROUP PSYCHOTHERAPY PSYCHODRAMA AND SOCIOMETRY 1995 VOL. 48; NUMBER 3 pp. 117-120

1994
Johnson-Jeffrey-C, Ironsmith-Marsha, Poteat-G-Michael. Assessing children’s sociometric status: Issues and the application of social network analysis. JOURNAL OF GROUP PSYCHOTHERAPY, PSYCHODRAMA & SOCIOMETRY Vol. 47(1), (Spr. 1994), p. 36-48

1993
Martin, R. & Stepath, S. (1993) Psychodrama and reminiscence for the geriatric psychiatric patient JOURNAL OF GROUP PSYCHOTHERAPY, PSYCHODRAMA AND SOCIOMETRY Vol. 45 (4) pp. 139 – 148
Stallone, T. (1993) The effects of psychodrama in inmates within a structured residential behaviours modification programme JOURNAL OF GROUP PSYCHOTHERAPY, PSYCHODRAMA AND SOCIOMETRY Vol. 46 (1) pp. 24 – 31

1992
Coppenhall, K. (1992) How do psychodramatists ensure an experience is healing when the protagonist is a survivor of sexual abuse? Unpublished MA dissertation, University of Keele, Staffordshire, UK
Kane-Roberta The potential abuses, limitations, and negative effects of classical psychodramatic techniques in group counselling. JOURNAL OF GROUP PSYCHOTHERAPY, PSYCHODRAMA & SOCIOMETRY Vol. 44(4) (Win 1992), p. 181-189
Loughlin, N. (1992) A trial of the use of psychodrama for women with alcohol problemsNURSING PRACTICE V. 5 (3) pp. 14 – 19
Treadwell-Thomas, Collins-Lisa, Stein-Stephen The Moreno Social Atom Test–Revised (MSAT–R): A sociometric instrument measuring interpersonal networks. JOURNAL OF GROUP PSYCHOTHERAPY, PSYCHODRAMA & SOCIOMETRY Vol. 45(3), (Fall 1992), p. 122-124

Focus on Psychodrama: The Therapeutic Aspects of Psychodrama
Peter Felix Kellermann
Jessica Kingsley Publications
Paperback; order online
1-85302-127-X
1992 160 pages
£16.95 $27.00

1991
Dushman-Renee-D, Bressler-Mary-J Psychodrama in an adolescent chemical dependency treatment program JOURNAL OF ADLERIAN THEORY, RESEARCH & PRACTICE, Vol. 47(4), (Dec 1991), p. 515 – 520

1989
Arn, I et al (1989) Psychodrama group psychotherapy for patients with functional gastrointestinal disorders – a controlled long-term follow-up study PSYCHOTHERAPY AND PSYCHOSOMATICS V. 51 (3) PP. 113 –119
Carlson-Sabelli-Linnea Role reversal: A concept analysis and reinterpretation of the research literature JOURNAL OF GROUP PSYCHOTHERAPY, PSYCHODRAMA & SOCIOMETRY Vol. 41(4)(Win 1989), p. 139-152
Starr-Adaline, Weisz-Helene-S Psychodramatic techniques in the brief treatment of inpatient groups INDIVIDUAL PSYCHOLOGY: JOURNAL OF ADLERIAN THEORY, RESEARCH & PRACTICE Vol. 45(1-2), (Mar-Jun 1989), p. 143-147

1988 
Johnson-David-R. The Diagnostic Role-Playing Test. ARTS IN PSYCHOTHERAPY; Vol. 15(1), (Spr. 1988), p. 23-36

1987
Kellermann-Peter-F. Outcome research in classical psychodrama SMALL GROUP BEHAVIOR VOL. 18(4) (Nov 1987), p. 459-469.
Kellerman-Peter-F. Psychodrama participants’ perception of therapeutic factors SMALL GROUP BEHAVIOR Vol. 18(3) (Aug 1987), p. 408-419

1986 
Conduit, E. (1986) Process research in psychodrama JOURNAL OF THE BRITISH PSYCHODRAMA ASSOCIATION Vol. 1 (2) pp. 38 – 45

1985 
Beagan, D. (1985) Spontaneity and Creativity in the NHS: Starting a new group – psychodrama with adult day patients BRITISH JOURNAL OF OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY V. 48 (12) pp. 370 – 374

1984
Kellermann-Peter-F. The place of catharsis in psychodrama JOURNAL OF GROUP PSYCHOTHERAPY, PSYCHODRAMA & SOCIOMETRY Vol. 37(1) (Spr. 1984), p. 1-13
Lazerson-Judith-S. Voices of bulimia: Experiences in integrated psychotherapyPSYCHOTHERAPY: THEORY, RESEARCH, PRACTICE, TRAINING Vol. 21(4), (Win 1984), p. 500-509

1981
Creekmore-Nancy-N, Madan-Avi-J. The use of sociodrama as a therapeutic technique with behavior disordered children BEHAVIORAL DISORDERS; Vol. 7(1) (1981), p. 28-33

1979 
Simeonsson-Rune-J, Monson-Lynne-B, Blacher-Dixon-Jan. Promoting social competence in exceptional children through perspective taking and sociodramatic activities JOURNAL OF GROUP PSYCHOTHERAPY, PSYCHODRAMA & SOCIOMETRY Vol. 32, (1979), p. 156-163

1978 

Kipper-David-A. Trends in the research on the effectiveness of psychodrama: Retrospect and prospect JOURNAL OF GROUP PSYCHOTHERAPY, PSYCHODRAMA & SOCIOMETRY Vol. 31 (1978), p. 5-18
Kipper, D. A. & Giladi, D., 1978, Effectiveness of structured psychodrama and systematic desensitisation in reading test anxiety JOURNAL OF COUNSELLING PSYCHOLOGY, 25, 499-505


2. The Delphi Method

Definition and Historical Background
The objective of most Delphi applications is the reliable and creative exploration of ideas or the production of suitable information for decision making. The Delphi Method is based on a structured process for collecting and distilling knowledge from a group of experts by means of a series of questionnaires interspersed with controlled opinion feedback (Adler and Ziglio, 1996). According to Helmer (1977) Delphi represents a useful communication device among a group of experts and thus facilitates the formation of a group judgement. Wissema (1982) underlines the importance of the Delphi Method as a monovariable exploration technique for technology forecasting. He further states that the Delphi method has been developed in order to make discussion between experts possible without permitting a certain social interactive behavior as happens during a normal group discussion and hampers opinion forming. Baldwin (1975) asserts that lacking full scientific knowledge, decision-makers have to rely on their own intuition or on expert opinion. The Delphi method has been widely used to generate forecasts in technology, education, and other fields (Cornish, 1977).

The technology forecasting studies which eventually led to the development of the Delphi method started in 1944. At that time General Arnold asked Theodor von Karman to prepare a forecast of future technological capabilities that might be of interest to the military (Cornish, 1977). Arnold got the Douglas Aircraft company to establish in 1946 a Project RAND (an acronym for Research and Development) to study the “broad subject of inter-continental warfare other then surface.” In 1959 Helmer and fellow RAND researcher Rescher published a paper on “The Epistemology of the Inexact Sciences,” which provide a philosophical base for forecasting (Fowles, 1978). The paper argued that in fields that have not yet developed to the point of having scientific laws, the testimony of experts is permissible. The problem is how to use this testimony and, specifically, how to combine the testimony of a number of experts into a single useful statement. The Delphi method recognizes human judgement as legitimate and useful inputs in generating forecasts. Single experts sometimes suffer biases; group meetings suffer from “follow the leader” tendencies and reluctance to abandon previously stated opinions (Gatewood and Gatewood, 1983, Fowles, 1978). In order to overcome these shortcomings the basic notion of the Delphi method, theoretical assumptions and methodological procedures developed in the 1950s and 1960s at the RAND Corporation. Forecasts about various aspect of the future are often derived through the collation of expert judgement. Dalkey and Helmer developed the method for the collection of judgement for such studies (Gordon and Hayward, 1968).

Fowles (1978) asserts that the word Delphi refers to the hallowed site of the most revered oracle in ancient Greece. Forecasts and advices from gods were sought through intermediaries at this oracle. However Dalkey (1968) states that the name “Delphi” was never a term with which either Helmer or Dalkey (the founders of the method) were particularly happy. Dalkey (1968) acknowledged that it was rather unfortunate that the set of procedures developed at the RAND Corporation, and designed to improve methods of forecasting, came to be known as “Delphi”. He argued that the term implies “something oracular, something smacking a little of the occult”, whereas, as a matter of fact, precisely the opposite is involved; it is primarily concerned with making the best you can of a less than perfect kind of information.

One of the very first applications of the Delphi method carried out at the RAND Corporation is illustrated in the publication by Gordon and Helmer (1964). Its aim was to assess the direction of long-range trends, with special emphasis on science and technology, and their probable effects on society. The study covered six topics: scientific breakthroughs; population control; automation; space progress; war prevention; weapon systems (Gordon and Helmer, 1968). The first Delphi applications were in the area of technological forecasting and aimed to forecast likely inventions, new technologies and the social and economic impact of technological change (Adler and Ziglio, 1996). In terms of technology forecasting, Levary and Han (1995) state the objective of the Delphi method as to combine expert opinions concerning the likelihood of realizing the proposed technology as well as expert opinions concerning the expected development time into a single position. When the Delphi method was first applied to long-range forecasting, potential future events were considered one at a time as though they were to take place in isolation from one another. Later on, the notion of cross impacts was introduced to overcome the shortcomings of this simplistic approach (Helmer, 1977).

According to Wissema (1982), unfortunately the Delphi method is also sometimes used for a normal inquiry among a number of experts. Delphi has found its way into industry, government, and finally, academe. It has simultaneously expanded beyond technological forecasting (Fowles, 1978). Since the 1950s several research studies have used the Delphi method, particularly in public health issues (such as, policies for drug use reduction and prevention of AIDS/HIV) and education areas (Adler and Ziglio, 1996; Cornish, 1977).

The Basics of the Delphi Method

The Delphi method is an exercise in group communication among a panel of geographically dispersed experts (Adler and Ziglio, 1996). The technique allows experts to deal systematically with a complex problem or task. The essence of the technique is fairly straightforward. It comprises a series of questionnaires sent either by mail or via computerized systems, to a pre-selected group of experts. These questionnaires are designed to elicit and develop individual responses to the problems posed and to enable the experts to refine their views as the group’s work progresses in accordance with the assigned task. The main point behind the Delphi method is to overcome the disadvantages of conventional committee action. According to Fowles (1978) anonymity, controlled feedback, and statistical response characterize Delphi. The group interaction in Delphi is anonymous, in the sense that comments, forecasts, and the like are not identified as to their originator but are presented to the group in such a way as to suppress any identification.

In the original Delphi process, the key elements were (1) structuring of information flow, (2) feedback to the participants, and (3) anonymity for the participants. Clearly, these characteristics may offer distinct advantages over the conventional face-to-face conference as a communication tool. The interactions among panel members are controlled by a panel director or monitor who filters out material not related to the purpose of the group (Martino, 1978). The usual problems of group dynamics are thus completely bypassed. Fowles (1978) describes the following ten steps for the Delphi method:
1. Formation of a team to undertake and monitor a Delphi on a given subject.
2. Selection of one or more panels to participate in the exercise. Customarily, the panelists are experts in the area to be investigated.
3. Development of the first round Delphi questionnaire
4. Testing the questionnaire for proper wording (e.g., ambiguities, vagueness)
5. Transmission of the first questionnaires to the panelists
6. Analysis of the first round responses
7. Preparation of the second round questionnaires (and possible testing)
8. Transmission of the second round questionnaires to the panelists
9. Analysis of the second round responses (Steps 7 to 9 are reiterated as long as desired or necessary to achieve stability in the results.)
10. Preparation of a report by the analysis team to present the conclusions of the exercise

Delbecq et al., (1975) argue that the most important issue in this process is the understanding of the aim of the Delphi exercise by all participants. Otherwise the panelists may answer inappropriately or become frustrated and lose interest. The respondents to the questionnaire should be well informed in the appropriate area (Hanson and Ramani, 1988) but the literature (Armstrong, 1978; Welty, 1972) suggest that a high degree of expertise is not necessary. The minimum number of participants to ensure a good group performance is somewhat dependent on the study design. Experiments by Brockhoff (1975) suggest that under ideal circumstances, groups as small as four can perform well.

Before deciding whether or not the Delphi method should be used, it is very important to consider thoroughly the context within which the method is to be applied (Delbecq et al. 1975). A number of questions need to be asked before making the decision of selecting or ruling out the Delphi technique (Adler and Ziglio, 1996):
• What kind of group communication process is desirable in order to explore the problem at hand?
• Who are the people with expertise on the problem and where are they located?
• What are the alternative techniques available and what results can reasonably be expected from their application?

Only when the above questions are answered can one decide whether the Delphi method is appropriate to the context in which it will be applied. Adler and Ziglio (1996) further claim that failure to address the above questions may lead to inappropriate applications of Delphi and discredit the whole creative effort.

The outcome of a Delphi sequence is nothing but opinion. The results of the sequence are only as valid as the opinions of the experts who made up the panel (Martino, 1978). The panel viewpoint is summarized statistically rather than in terms of a majority vote.

The Delphi method has got criticism as well as support. The most extensive critique of the Delphi method was made by Sackman (1974) who criticizes the method as being unscientific and Armstrong (1978) who has written critically of its accuracy. Martino (1978) underlines the fact that Delphi is a method of last resort in dealing with extremely complex problems for which there are no adequate models. Helmer (1977) states that sometimes reliance on intuitive judgement is not just a temporary expedient but in fact a mandatory requirement. Makridakis and Wheelright (1978) summarize the general complaints against the Delphi method in terms of (a) a low level reliability of judgements among experts and therefore dependency of forecasts on the particular judges selected; (b) the sensitivity of results to ambiguity in the questionnaire that is used for data collection in each round; and (c) the difficulty in assessing the degree of expertise incorporated into the forecast. Martino (1978) lists major concerns about the Delphi method:
• Discounting the future: Future (and past) happenings are not as important as the current ones, therefore one may have a tendency to discount the future events.
• The simplification urge: Experts tend to judge the future of events in isolation from other developments. A holistic view of future events where change has had a pervasive influence cannot be visualized easily. At this point cross-impact analysis is of some help.
• Illusory expertise: some of the experts may be poor forecasters. The expert tends to be a specialist and thus views the forecast in a setting which is not the most appropriate one.
• Sloppy execution: there are many ways to do a poor job. Execution of the Delphi process may loose the required attention easily.
• Format bias: it should be recognized that the format of the questionnaire may be unsuitable to some potential societal participants.
• Manipulation of Delphi: The responses can be altered by the monitors in the hope of moving the next round responses in a desired direction.

Goldschmidt (1975) agrees that there have been many poorly conducted Delphi projects. However, he warns that it is a fundamental mistake to equate the applications of the Delphi method with the Delphi method itself, as too many critics do. There is, in fact, an important conceptual distinction between evaluating a technique and evaluating an application of a technique.

On the other hand there have been several studies (Ament, 1970; Wissema, 1982; Helmer, 1983) supporting the Delphi method. A study conducted by Milkovich et al. (1972) reports the use of the Delphi method in manpower forecasting. The results of the comparison indicated high agreement between the Delphi estimate and the actual number hired and less agreement between quantitative forecasts and the number hired. Another study by Basu and Schroeder (1977) reports similar results in a general forecasting problem. They compared Delphi forecasts of five-year sales with both unstructured, subjective forecasts and quantitative forecasts that used regression analyses and exponential smoothing. The Delphi forecasting consisted of three rounds using 23 key organization members. When compared against actual sales for the first two years, errors of 3-4% were reported for Delphi, 10-15% for the quantitative methods, and of approximately 20% for the previously used unstructured, subjective forecasts.

In general, the Delphi method is useful in answering one, specific, single-dimension question. There is less support for its use to determine complex forecasts concerning multiple factors. Such complex model building is more appropriate for quantitative models with Delphi results serving as inputs (Gatewood and Gatewood, 1983). This point is supported by Gordon and Hayward (1968) who claim that the Delphi method, based on the collation of expert judgement, suffers from the possibility that reactions between forecasted items may not be fully considered. The need for the cross impact matrix method of forecasting integrated with the Delphi method is pointed out by many researchers (Gordon and Hayward, 1968; Gatewood and Gatewood, 1983; Adler and Ziglio, 1996). An improvement in forecasting reliability over the Delphi method was thought to be attainable by taking into consideration the possibility that the occurrence of one event may cause an increase or decrease in the probability of occurrence of other events included in the survey (Helmer, 1978). Therefore cross impact analysis has developed as an extension of Delphi techniques.
http://www.iit.edu/~it/delphi.html


3. Some Delphi References

BUTTERWORTH, T. & BISHOP, V. (1995) Identifying the characteristics of optimum practice: findings from a survey of practice experts in nursing, midwifery and health visiting Journal of Advanced Nursing vol. 22 pp. 24-32
Delbecq, A.L Van de Ven, A. H, Gustafson, D H Group Techniques for Program Planning: A Guide to Nominal Group and Delphi Processes, Scott, Foresman and Company, Glenview, Illinois, 1975. (Original theorists)
GOODMAN, C. (1987) The Delphi technique: a critique Journal of Advanced Nursing vol. 12 pp. 729-734
JENKINS, D. & SMITH, T. (1994) Applying Delphi methodology in family therapy researchContemporary Family Therapy, vol. 16: 5. pp. 411-430
PROCTER, S. & HUNT, M. (1994) Using the Delphi survey technique to develop a professional definition of nursing for analysing nursing work load Journal of Advanced Nursing vol. 19 pp. 1003-1014
RIGGS, W. E. (1983) The Delphi Technique: An experimental evaluation Technological Forecasting and Social Change vol. 23 pp. 89-94
WILLIAMSON, P. & WEBB, C. (1994) The Delphi technique: a methodological discussion Journal of Advanced Nursing vol. 19 pp. 180-186

And other articles
Franz, J. G. (1940). The place of the psychodrama in research. Sociometry, 3, 49-61.
Franz, J. G. (1942a). The psychodrama and interviewing. American Sociological Review, 7, 27-33.
Franz, J. G. (1942b). Research in psychodrama. American Sociological Review, 7, 45-49.

FEPTO Conference

12th FEPTO Conference:
Compass and Compassion. A conference on morenian ethics and philosophy

16th to 18th of June, 2017
Sigtuna, Sweden

» Scholarships

» First call

» Program

» Online registration

Annual Meeting

25th FEPTO AM: 
Vision of Psychodrama in the current world: the perspective of inclusion and mutuality

18th to 22nd of June, 2017
Sigtuna, Sweden

» Scholarships

» Invitation

» Program

» Online registration

Newsletter

fn-16-3-cover

Download the current issue of our newsletter

Download Newsletter