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January 1968

Choice of Defense

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1968;18(1):36-41. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1968.01740010038005

A SERIES of papers,1-5 and others now ready for publication,6-8 report on research which demonstrates a significant relationship between autokinetic test differences, that is, a relationship between varying amounts of apparent motion of a pinpoint of light in a totally dark room during a tenminute period and a variety of behaviors. It has been suggested that this linkage reflects the workings of a central personality dimension which for the sake of semantic simplicity has been called the ego-closeness—egodistance continuum. This dimension, as defined, has led to a number of correctly predicted relationships between a rather wide spectrum of behaviors and personality traits and autokinesis and, at the same time, accounts for individual differences with regard to autokinesis itself.

This paper reports on a study which tested the hypothesis that autokinesis is related to certain defense mechanisms. A fundamental assumption upon