Faculty Profile: Harris Friedman

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Harris Friedman

Harris Friedman received his Ph.D. in Personality-Clinical Psychology from Georgia State University. Harris Friedman has a background as a clinical psychologist, organizational consultant, and program developer. As a researcher, he is most interested in the fundamental epistemological questions related to how we know what we think we know. This translates into a particular focus on developing techniques of assessment and measurement as well as a finding ways to utilize these techniques in areas that have previously resisted empirical efforts."""""

Curriculum Vitae

Degrees, Discipline, Year, Institution

Completed post-doctoral year (1983-84), University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida. Psychological and Vocational Couneling Center.

Ph.D. (1981), Georgia State University, Atlanta, Georgia. Major in Personality-Clinical Psychology (APA-Approved Program). Extra-departmental concentration completed in Sociology.

M.A. (1971), Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia. Major in Department of Sociology and Anthropology with a concentration in Social Psychology.

B.A. (1969), Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia. Major in Psychology.

Current Projects and Professional Activities

In addition to being Professor Emeritus at Saybrook, I also hold an appointment as Professor of Psychology (courtesy) at the University of Florida. I am currently analyzing and writing up findings recently obtained from a large cross-cultural study of spirituality and transpersonal patterns using my measure (the Self-Expansiveness Level Form [SELF])and other measures in India, Japan, Poland, and Uganda, in order to compare with US-Canadian data previously collected. I am also working on writing up findings obtained with a measure of organizational culture in which extensive data has been collected in over 30 organizations in 6 different cultures. I am also writing a number of articles on the construct of self-expansiveness (which forms the theoretical basis for the SELF) and writing a book on that topic. I am also involved in co-authoring a book on adaptive leadership in organizational settings, as well as with writing a number of articles on that topic. I am also co-editing the International Journal of Transpersonal Studies. Finally, I am involved in a number of applied projects (which I have written, or am writing, as action research articles) on topics such as (a) environmental sustainability, (b) designing culturally appropriate mental health services, and (c) efforts to resolve cultural dilemmas.

Current Publications

Friedman, H. (Ed.). (in press). The Voice of the Body. Bioenergetics Press, Alachua, FL.


Genthner, G., Friedman, H., & Studley, C. (in press). A test of the effects of orthospinological treatment on depression. Journal of Vertebral Subluxation Research.


Friedman, H. & MacDonald, D. (in press). Testing and humanistic assessment. Journal of Humanistic Psychology.









Significant Publications

Fiji crisis. Harvard Asia Pacific Review, 6,86-90.


Glover, G., Friedman, H., & Jones, G. (2002). Adaptive leadership: When change is not enough—Part One. Organizational Development Journal, 20, 15-31. & Glover, G., Rainwater, K., Jones, G., & Friedman, H. (2002). Adaptive leadership: When change is not enough—Part Two. Organizational Development Journal, 21, 18-38. (Note, this won the award for best article in 2002 in the Organizational Development Journal)


MacDonald, D. and Friedman, H. (2002). Assessment of transpersonal and spiritual constructs: State of the science. Journal of Humanistic Psychology, 42, 102-125.









Research Interests

My primary research interest is with using empirical approaches to explore transpersonal psychological phenomena. In this context, I am interested in both transpersonal theory development(as long as the theory is amenable to being empirically studied) and transpersonal methods (including qualitative and quantitative approaches, especially applying psychometrics and sociometrics, and mixed mthods combining both qualitative and quantitative approaches), as well as clarifying the philosophical underpinnings related to what can be rationally known about the transpersonal (epistemological questions). I am particularly interested in research applying my measure (the Self-Expansiveness Level Form [SELF])to more deeply understand transpersonal experience and behavior and in further refining this measure. I am also interested in research on organizational psychology with a particular focus on measurement of adaptive leadership and both organizational change and culture. In addition, I am interested in personality theory (with an emphasis on measurement and assessment), mind-body relationships (including biofeedback, somatics, and subtle energies), environmental sustainability issues, forensic issues, social justice issues, and problems in the delivery of human services (especially evaluation of mental and physical health delivery systems). In addition, as a clinical psychologist, I am very interested in psychopathology and psychotherapy research (especially on body-oriented, expressive, family systems, gestalt, and hypnotherapy approaches), as well as professional issues related to ethics, supervision, and training. I am also interested in the optimum development of human potential--through studying growth methods such as martial arts, self-help groups, and yoga within clinical and nonclincal populations. Finally, I consider myself a psychological generalist (with a strong interest in many areas of social science, especially sociology and anthropology) and it is hard to find a basic, challenging research question that does not interest me.

Research Expertise

I have considerable expertise in psychometrics, particularly with test construction and validation, and corresponding expertise in using measures in correlational and multivariate research, including in applied areas such as program evaluations. Although I am primarily interested in non-experimental approaches, such as surveys or field studies, I am also comfortable with experimental and quasi-experimental designs, as well as with nonintrusive research such as observational or archival/epidemiological studies. I also am interested in qualitative approaches, such as case studies, when used to give greater depth to more traditional quantitative approaches or to formulate theories/hypotheses for later quantitative study.  Although I am trained primarily as a personality and clinical psychologist, I have interests in many other areas of psychology, as well as in other social sciences (particularly anthropology and sociology) and both philosophy and religion.

Expertise Working with Saybrook Students

I am very interested in helping students identify and conceptualize  problems/questions within the humanistic and transpersonal traditions that are amenable to rigorous empirical research, worth studying, and exciting.  I think problem/question identification and conceptualization to be the most crucial aspect of any research since, if the problem/question is flawed, all further work suffers.  I also am interested in helping students publish their research and, in particular, I believe that a dissertation is not complete until it has been published (and that all dissertations should be of publishable quality). I particularly want to work with (1) students who are interested in  transpersonal research--and am hopeful that student research teams working on similar transpersonal problems might evolve using my measure, the SELF; and (2) students interested in organizational change and social action projects. And, of course, I am always interested in working with students who want to follow their own research passions if these are in line with my interests and competencies.

Research Expertise

Research Expertise Rating Guide:

  1. studied in a class or have read intensively on my own
  2. special training in the form of a workshop or equivalent
  3. taught a class in, or supervised research using this method (research practicum, on a dissertation or master's committee
  4. used in research myself
  5. published or presented at conferences my research using this method

Methods Traditionally Considered As Quantitative (But Need Not Be)

Laboratory Research
Field Experiments
Randomized Controlled Clinical
Quasi-experimental methods
Correlational Methods

Methods That Could Use Quantitative Or Qualitative Methods

Action Research
Survey Research
Interview Research
Observational Research
Epidemiological Research
Focus Groups
Self-Observational Methods
Narrative Methods
Feminist Methods
Content Analysis
Discovery-Oriented (psychotherapy)
Events paradigm (psychotherapy)
Archival Research
Case History Methods
Appreciative Inquiry
Multiple Case Depth Research
Hermeneutic Single Case Efficacy Design
Longitudinal research
Cross-sectional research

Methods Primarily Associated With Qualitative Research (But May Also Use Quantitative)

Ethnoautobiographical research
Grounded Theory
Heuristic Research

Types of Analysis

Simple Parametric Statistics (t-test, etc.)
Confidence intervals
Analysis of Variance (including MANOVA)
Analysis of Covariance
Regression (including multiple regression)
Discriminant Function Analysis
Structural Equation Modeling/Path Analysis
Causal Modeling
Cluster Analysis
Survival Analysis
Bayesian Analysis
Meta-analysis and effect sizes
Factor Analysis
Time series analysis
Multidimensional scaling