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January 1968

Choice of Defense

Author Affiliations
Topeka, KanFrom the Department of Research, the Menninger Foundation, Topeka, Kan. Mr. Kissen is now at the New School for Social Research, New York.
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