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October 1961

Receptiveness of Psychiatric Patients to Verbal Communication: An Increase Following Partial Sensory and Social Deprivation

Author Affiliations

From the Veterans Administration Hospital.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1961;5(4):366-370. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1961.01710160046005

This paper reports an investigation of changes in the receptiveness of psychiatric subjects to verbal communication following brief partial sensory deprivation. A previous study by the present authors reported that a group of psychiatric patients exposed to a few hours of brief partial sensory and social deprivation subsequently showed less overt symptomatology, enhanced ego functioning, greater capacity to relate to others, improved reality testing, and more effective intellectual functioning, as measured by I.Q. scores.1,2,5 However, there were marked individual differences in reactions during deprivation and in the nature and extent of changes afterward. The personality correlates of these individual differences have been thoroughly investigated and reported elsewhere.1

One of the changes most frequently observed by the present experimenters was an increased need of the subjects for social contacts in general, particularly with the professional staff. This need for increased social stimulation

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