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January 1973

Paranoia and Naivete: Coexisting Traits in Three Patients

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School (Drs. Perlman and Grunebaum) and the Massachusetts Mental Health Center (Dr. Perlman), Boston. Dr. Perlman is now with the Department of Mental Health, West Springfield, Mass.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1973;28(1):30-32. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1973.01750310020004

Three patients were seen who had symptomatology with prominent paranoid elements; two of the patients had gross paranoid delusions. All three patients were particularly naive in their premorbid personalities. The existence of two paradoxical traits in one person is also seen in the obsessional neuroses.

Both naivete and paranoia may be part of a basic difficulty in assessing the interpersonal world. The observation that naivete and paranoia often coexist has been independently confirmed by empirical data with the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory, in which paranoid persons tend to give naive responses and nonparanoid persons do not.

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