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April 1965

Earliest Memories And Personality: A Predictive Study

Author Affiliations

Research Center for Mental Health, New York University.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1965;12(4):379-390. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1965.01720340051008

Introduction  SYSTEMATIC study of first memories and their relationship to personality has been of considerable interest. Such data permit psychodynamic conceptualization while lending themselves to quantitative methods, testable hypotheses, and correlative studies with clinical and other material. Several experimental techniques have been reported for such endeavors and preliminary results, notably those of Levy and Grigg6 and myself and my co-workers,5 have been favorable. These, and other past studies (see reference 5, where they are reviewed), have demonstrated the validity of earliest memories as reflectors of personality. All, however, utilized essentially post hoc techniques; the challenge of predictive research remained. The present study describes an effort to meet this challenge by attempting to predict from first memory content the personality features of a group of 48 subjects. Secondarily, it offers additional related data obtained by means of a post hoc analysis

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