PARANOID SIZE CONSTANCY TOWARD MALE AND FEMALE FACES WITH VARIOUS AFFECTS
STRISIK, DAVID D.
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This study used 68 paranoid schizophrenics, 21 nonparanoid schizophrenics, and 20 nonpsychotic normals, for a size constancy task in which the standard stimuli were male and female faces with various affects (from Ekman & Friesen, 1975) projected on a movie screen 50 feet from the subjects. The subjects viewed the stimuli under the reduced distance cue condition of a darkened room. The paranoid group was subdivided into those with primarily male, female, and both sexes of main delusional figures.;It was hypothesized that the paranoid group would perceive the faces expressing negative affect as significantly larger than faces with a happy or neutral expression, and a plain grey square. Hypothesized as well were significantly greater constancy scores toward negative-expression faces of the same sex as the paranoid group's main delusional figures. It was hypothesized that the paranoid group would have significantly greater total constancy scores than the nonparanoid and normal groups.;The results of the study supported each of these predictions.;The study found that time elapsed since first psychiatric hospitalization, medication dosage converted into a Thorazine equivalent and socioeconomic status, did not predict any of the group's constancy scores. The split-half WAIS Vocabulary Subtest had a significant positive linear relationship to the constancy scores of the paranoid groups having male and both sexes of delusional figures, but not those with female figures.;The predictive power of the WAIS for the constancy scores of the male and both sexes paranoid delusion subgroups was discussed as perhaps due to the superior contact with reality and greater general alertness of the paranoids scoring higher on these two measures.;The results of the constancy task were discussed as attributable to the paranoids' response disposition, and their hypersensitivity and suspiciousness. Silverman's (1964) "scanning control mechanism," which postulates that paranoids are more extensive scanners than nonparanoid schizophrenics, was applied to the results. It was theorized that the paranoids' hypersensitivity and suspiciousness may extend to their distrust of the object's apparent size and lead to over-constant size perceptions.;Clinical applications of the findings for understanding paranoid projections and object relations were discussed. The psychotherapeutic ramifications of the results were considered. Recommendations for future research were offered.
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