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August 1964

Thought Disturbance in Schizophrenia: Pilot Study Utilizing Piaget's Theories

Author Affiliations

Fellow in Child Psychiatry, Massachusetts Mental Health Center, and teaching fellow in Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1964;11(2):126-136. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1964.01720260020003

Controversy exists as to whether or not there is a thought disturbance in schizophrenia, and, if there is a thought disturbance, how it is to be interpreted. This paper presents a pilot study which approaches these questions from the vantage point of Jean Piaget's developmental psychology.

Bleuler5 directed attention to the possibility that there was a thought disturbance other than progressive dementia present in schizophrenia. Since then, a considerable body of evidence has been accumulated demonstrating differences in the performances of schizophrenics and normals on various testing tasks (eg, Bannister,3 Benjamin,6 Cameron,7-9 Chapman,10-12 Cohen et al,13 Epstein,15 Feldman and Drasgow,14,17 Fey,19 Goldstein and Scheerer,22 Hanfmann and Kasanin,24 MacGaughran and Moran,28 Meadow et al,30 Payne et al,31 Vigotsky,54 and Zaslow61). Most studies have measured the schizophrenic's