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August 1960

Human Figure Drawings of Schizophrenic and Normal Adults: Changes Following Administration of Lysergic Acid

Author Affiliations

State University of New York, Downstate Medical Center (Dr. Machover).
New York University, Bellevue Medical Center (Dr. Liebert).

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1960;3(2):139-152. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1960.01710020023004

This study is concerned with the effect of change in the organismic state induced by D-lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD-25) upon the structure of personality. In this paper, we are reporting on the findings obtained with the human figure drawings produced by the subjects of a project investigating the psychological effects of the drug on both schizophrenic and normal adults.1

The disorganizing properties of the drug, capable of producing a model psychosis has been previously reported.4,11,15 Beyond the manifest excitement and confusion stimulated by the drug, there is a unique personality interacting with it, assigning meanings to the induced experience, and coping with it on the basis of his total psychic economy. To give a simple illustration: The expression of hostility may, for one person, be a useful cathartic, and for the other, a dangerous loss of control, requiring defensive repairs.

Drawing the human figure offers

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