September 1965

Family Interaction and Decision-Making

Author Affiliations

Research Associate, Palo Alto Mental Research Institute and Research Consultant, San Jose State College (Dr. Ferreira), and Professor of Psychology, San Jose State College(Dr. Winter).

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1965;13(3):214-223. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1965.01730030020004

With increasing conviction, the clinical impressions derived from family therapy and the results of a handful of experiments have fostered the view that the family of an individual patient is an "abnormal" one, different in some ways from "normal" families. The investigation of family interaction assumes that this difference is demonstrable and seeks to identify the parameters involved. Of course, this effort is still in its beginning stages, but it already seems to contain the promise of a new set of research observations for the behavior scientist, and an expanded therapeutic horizon for the psychotherapist.

Part of a larger research project, the study reported in this paper enlarges upon Ferreira's 3 previous investigation of family decision-making in normal and abnormal families. It inquires into the conjoint behavior of the family triad (father, mother, and child) while making a family decision, that is, a decision

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