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April 1972

The Objective Study of a Multiple Personality: Or, Are Four Heads Better Than One?

Author Affiliations

Lexington, Ky
From the Department of Psychiatry, University of Kentucky Medical Center, Lexington.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1972;26(4):298-310. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1972.01750220008002

This report pertains to the systematic, "controlled" study of a 27year-old patient with four distinct personalities—the "square," the "mediator," the "lover," and the "warrior." The aim of this study has been to clarify the mechanisms of action underlying the emergence of these alter personalities and the relative degrees of amnesia existing among all personalities, as well as to elucidate the areas of independence and overlap among them. To accomplish this aim, clinical-psychological, psychophysiological, and neurophysiological procedures were employed. All the data obtained fall into a consistent pattern and suggest that traditional skeptical explanations of pretense or role-playing are insufficient to account for the phenomena observed. A new theoretical construct for interpreting the phenomena of multiple personality and other related dissociative states is presented.