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March 1974

Verbal Behavior Analysis and Psychological Defense Mechanisms: VI. Speech Pattern Associated With Compulsive Behavior

Author Affiliations

From The Institute of Psychiatry and Human Behavior, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore (Dr. Weintraub), and the Department of Psychology, North Texas State University, Denton (Dr. Aronson).

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1974;30(3):297-300. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1974.01760090015003

Using our method of verbal behavior analysis we have demonstrated significant differences between the speech pattern of 17 compulsive psychiatric patients and that of a normal control group. Compared to the control subjects the compulsive patients did more explaining and used more negatives, retractors, and evaluators; they also used fewer nonpersonal references and more expressions of feelings, but not to a significant degree. An attempt is made to correlate significant verbal findings with psychodynamic formulations made by psychoanalyst observers and the importance of distinguishing the speech of compulsive neurotic patients from that of compulsive characters is stressed.

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