The Constructive Developmental Framework (CDF) is a theoretical framework for psychological assessment based on empirical research.
The framework is based on the assumption that an individual’s perception of reality is an actively constructed “world of their own”, unique to them and which they continue to develop over their lifespan. The assessment methodology involves three separate instruments that respectively measure a person’s social-emotional stage, cognitive level of development, and psychological profile. The empirical methodology of CDF is grounded in research which began under Lawrence Kohlberg 40 years ago, continued by Robert Kegan and others, and developed further since 1998 by Dr. Otto Laske, who integrated different forms of assessment and incorporated ideas about dialectical thinking as developed by the Frankfurt School and the philosopher Hegel. In Laske’s conception CDF makes a strict differentiation between social-emotional and cognitive development and relates these two lines of development through empirical research.
Psychological assessment based on CDF measures three essential aspects of a person: Social-emotional Development (ED), Cognitive Development (CD) and personality profile (NP), the latter describing a person’s likely behaviour in terms of their psychological ‘needs’ and ‘press’ - the environmental forces that they perceive acting on them (concepts developed by the psychologist Henry Murray). These three different aspects combine to present a unique picture of the individuality of a person.