The experiments reported in this paper originated with A. C. Voth's22,23 discovery, confirmed by him over a period of years, that the extent of autokinesis seen by patients under test conditions is predictably related to the nature of the patient's illness. Some individuals, when placed in a totally darkened room for ten minutes and asked to look steadily at a stationary pinpoint of light,* will see that light move, while others consistently report no movement at all. A. C. Voth found that state hospital patients who carried diagnoses of alcoholism, hysteria, involutional melancholia, manic-depressive psychosis, paranoid conditions, and psychopathic personality, in the main reported little or no movement of the light in the autokinetic test. Patients with a diagnosis of schizophrenia, obsessional neurosis, or anxiety neurosis reported fairly extensive movement. In his work with normal subjects, A. C. Voth21 showed that the autokinetic phenomenon
VOTH HM, MAYMAN M. A Dimension of Personality Organization: An Experimental Study of "Ego-Closeness—Ego-Distance". Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1963;8(4):366–380. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1963.01720100056007
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