September 1962

Psychological Differentiation.

Author Affiliations

By Herman A. Witkin, Ph.D.; Ruth B. Dyk; Hanna F. Faterson, Ph.D.; Donald R. Goodenough, Ph.D., and Stephen A. Karp. Price, $7.95. Pp. xii+418, with 9 illustrations. John Wiley and Sons, Inc., 440 Fourth Ave., New York, 1962.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1962;7(3):232-233. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1962.01720030078025

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The extensive series of studies reported in this book is based upon the central hypothesis that cognitive behavior and individual differences in cognitive mode represent a crucial basis for distinguishing between undifferentiated individuals who make a global approach to a wide variety of situations and differentiated persons who utilize an analytic approach. The "differentiation hypothesis" which orients all these experiments is an outgrowth and extension of hypotheses derived from a previous study (Personality Through Perception, 1954) and states that greater inner differentiation is associated with greater articulation of experience of the world. This comprises a sense of separate identity based upon stable internal frames of reference, utilization of an analytical field approach which involves "the ready ability to overcome an embedding context and to experience items as discrete from the field in which they are contained," recourse to relatively specialized defenses such as isolation and intellectualization rather than primitive denial

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