Analysis of responses by normal and emotionally handicapped students to photographs of abnormal personality types

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McDowell, Susan Graham
Wenck, L. Stanley (Lewis Stanley)
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Thesis (D. Ed.)
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The primary purpose of this study was to determine if significant differences exist in responses to pictures of diagnosed abnormal subjects between normal and emotionally handicapped (EH) children. The Szondi Test, which contains 48 pictures of mental patients divided into six sets, was utilized. Each of the eight pictures within a set represents one of the following mental disorders: sadist, homosexual, epileptic, hysteric, catatonic schizophrenic, paranoid schizophrenic, manic, and depressive. The subject is asked to choose the two most liked and two least liked pictures from each set. The composite responses constitute a profile which is interpreted in terms of psychological meanings of the clinic types chosen and rejected.A random sample of 112 intermediate-age Caucasian subjects was selected from emotionally handicapped classes. These subjects were assessed on the characteristics of age, intelligence, socioeconomic status, and sex. Normal subjects were then randomly sampled and selectively discarded until the proportions for the normal group were the same as the group with respect to age, intelligence, socioeconomic status, and sex. All subjects were given an administration of the Szondi Test.Multivariate analysis of variance and discriminant analysis were used to determine if differences in responses between the normal and EH groups were significant. The conclusion was made that the normal and EH groups did differ significantly (p <.O1) on personality factor profiles of the Szondi Test. Based on the obtained profiles, the discriminant analysis showed that 62% of the subjects in the EH group were correctly classified while 61% of those in the normal groups were classified accurately. The univariate F tests revealed that the significant multivariate F was accounted for, for the most part, by the catatonic and manic factors.The results of this study appear to represent a first step in supporting the potential usefulness of the Szondi Test as a diagnostic instrument for discriminating between EH and normal intermediate-age children.