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July 1984

Psychopathology and Creative Cognition-Reply

Author Affiliations

Austen Riggs Center, Ine Stockbridge, MA 01262

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1984;41(7):721-722. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1984.01790180091014

In Reply.—  The claim for an association between genius and psychopathology has not been focused on any specific diagnostic type. Various studies have emphasized degenerative insanity,1 schizophrenia,2,3 or affective disorder,4 as well as a host of many types of neuroses, personality disorders, and organic syndromes in particular men and women of genius and creativity.5,6 The null hypothesis of the study I reported was that there was no difference in rapid opposite responding on the word association test between persons suffering from a known psychopathologic disorder and creative subjects. The patient group therefore could not—in fact, should not—be limited to a specific diagnostic category. Another issue that Dr Alias seemed to assume beforehand was that specific cognitive styles are associated with particular diagnostic categories. This assumption is unwarranted on the basis of current diagnostic criteria and clinical knowledge. The experiment we performed was, in fact, a test of

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