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June 1958

A Quantitative Method of Estimating Variations in Intensity of a Psychologic Conflict or State

Author Affiliations


From the Department of Psychiatry, Cincinnati General Hospital, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine.

AMA Arch NeurPsych. 1958;79(6):688-696. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1958.02340060086012

The problem of estimating the relative intensity of a psychologic conflict is an important and challenging one for investigators of human personality. One aspect of this problem, which has been particularly elusive, has been that of comparing the intensity or degree of a specific psychologic conflict in one patient at different times and over a large number of periods of observation. Investigators attempting to evaluate the effect of therapeutic agents or procedures, e. g., drugs, electroconvulsive treatment, and psychotherapy, have felt the need for a precise and reliable technique of measurement of changes in psychodynamic balance within a subject. The need has also been felt by investigators doing psychosomatic studies.

The development of personality tests and inventories has been one approach to this problem, but most of these methods, while capable at their best of distinguishing reaction types among a group of individuals, are not sensitive enough or are not

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