Thigpen and Cleckley - MPD

Summary sheet on Thigpen and Cleckley MPD

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  • Created on: 07-05-10 16:14
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Name of study: A Case of Multiple Personality
Author(s): Thigpen and Cleckley
Approach: Individual Differences
Background information (what theories/issues of previous research is the study based on?)
MPD has a number of personalities each with distinct memories, behaviour patterns, social relationships and
cognitive functioning.
Each personality may have different physical characteristics.
It may be known as DID.
Depression & Mood swings
Panic attacks
Out of body experiences
These symptoms overlap with depression, anxiety & panic disorders.
Must have two separate personalities (ego states or alters).
The alters must have their own way of feeling and acting and is totally independent from any of the other
Each alert must take control at different times and they must exist for some time.
It is said that MPD is a response to extremely traumatic situations which there is no physical mean of escape.
The child learns to deal with it by using an avoidance technique. Often the idea behind the treatment is to
reintegrate the alters into a whole person.
Dissociation can be a useful coping strategy to deal with events.
What were the aims and hypotheses of this study?
Aim: document the successful treatment of a 25year old woman in a history of severe headaches and blackouts.
What research method was used?
Case study ­ only tested one person once over a 14 month period.
List the advantages and disadvantages of the method used?
Case study
Advantages Disadvantages
A strength is that it produces in depth, detailed It only studies one particular person. In the study they
information about a particular person or condition. In only used a 25 year old American woman. This means
the study qualitative and quantitative data was that the results cannot be generalized beyond the
collected ­ interviews totalling 100 hours, EEG tests, person being studied, in this case ­ Eve White.

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Psychometric & Projective tests. This allows the
researcher to gather in depth details about the
development of MPD.
It allows us to investigate unique cases of behaviour The method is carried out over a long period of time,
that are not available to study frequently. MPD is not and this may affect the researcher's ability to collate
often seen and so the researchers took the objective data. Thigpen and Cleckley suggested that
opportunity to investigate this.…read more

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On several occasions, last few months, EW heard a voice addressing her
During the conversation, put hands to her head.
Tense moment of silence hands dropped.
Therapist observed "quick, reckless smile"
Bright voice "Hi there, Doc'!"
EW changed from conventional to carefree.
Different physical presence.
Stated her name was Eve Black.
Voice and language structure different.
T+C ­ case of MPD, entirely different woman.
14 months 100 hours of interviews obtaining info about EW and EB.…read more

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No nylon
Description of Eve White: demure, sweet, sad, dresses conservatively.
Description of Eve Black: childish, vain, egocentric, flirtatious, dresses provocatively.
Eve Black's lack of compassion for Eve White: Denies marriage & lack of concern.
Curing Eve Black: therapists negotiate with Eve Black ­ want her to "behave" and stop causing problems for Eve
White. Deal? More time out for Eve Black. Since the deal didn't work Thigpen and Cleckley tried to reintegrate Eve
White and Eve Black, through hypnosis.…read more

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What evaluation issues relate to this study and why?
Must include:
Case Study
Advantage Disadvantage
A strength is that it produces in depth detailed, A weakness is that it only studies one particular
information about a particular person or condition. For person. In this study they only used one 25 year old
example it allowed for the collection of qualitative and American woman called Eve white.…read more

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Give two alternative ways of conducting the study and suggest any changes that might occur in the
findings and any implications of the changes (e.g. strengths or limitations)
Problem Change Implicatio Effects on
ns Findings
Thigpen and Cleckley In addition to an The The patient There would be more
recorded data from their independent expert who qualitative may be data collected because
interviews with Eve would carry out the data now uncomforta the independent therapist
White.…read more

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