Thigpen and Cleckley (1954)

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Title of the study?
'A case of multiple personality'.
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Context of the study?
Multiple personality disorder (MPD) and Previous research.
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What is Multiple personality disorder (MPD)?
A psychiatric condition characterised by the occurrence of 1 or more personalities.
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True/False: Each personality is called an 'alter' and takes control spontaneously and involuntarily.
True
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What is MPD know as in the USA?
Dissociative Identity Disorder
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What condition can MPD be confused with?
Schizophrenia
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Why is MPD viewed with some suspicion?
It is rarely encountered and there have only been a few cases.
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Aim of the study?
To document the psychotherapeutic treatment of a 25 year old woman who presented a history of severe headaches and blackouts but later discovered to have MPD.
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Sample of the study?
One woman with 3 'alters'
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Who were the 3 personalities?
Eve White (EW), Eve Black (EB) and Jane.
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True/False: Eve Black was not aware of Eve White?
False: She was aware of EW but this was not true in reverse.
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Describe Jane
She emerged during therapy and was superficially a compromise between EW and EB.
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2 strengths of this sample?
Allows the in-depth study of a rare illness and no effort spent in recruiting P's.
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2 weaknesses of this sample?
The illness was so unique it may be difficult to generalise and there was only one person, she could've been a skilled actress.
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What Research Method was used?
A Case Study using Self-Report and Observation.
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2 strengths of the research method?
Can investigate instances of behaviour that are rare and Provided rich, in-depth data so other research may be identified.
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2 weaknesses of the research method?
Prone to observer bias so may lack objectivity and it is often necessary to use recollection of past events and this evidence may be unreliable.
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How was Self-Report used in the study?
In the form of interviews between 2 psychiatrists, EW, EB and her family at times.
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Why was Observation used?
To observe EW/EB's behaviour and facial expressions e.g. EB's provocative voice/posture and EW's soft voice.
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How did Thigpen and Cleckley collect Qualitative data?
Interviews, Observations, Interpretations, Analyses and Projective Personality tests.
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How long did Thigpen and Cleckley spend interviewing EW/EB?
About 14 months (100 hours)
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Was it possible to just ask to speak to Eve Black?
Initially EW had to be hypnotised but later it became possible to just ask to speak to her.
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Why did they interview the husband and family?
To confirm some of the events reported e.g. being punished for wrongdoing (EB claimed to be responsible for).
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Give an example of an interpretation.
The view that Jane was a product different from Eve White and Eve Black.
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How did they discover it was MPD?
A letter was written with 2 different handwritings.
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What did they analyse? and why?
The handwriting to determine whether EW and EB had different personalities.
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What did the Projective Personality tests include?
Drawings of human figures and the Rorschach ink blot test.
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How did they collect Quantitative data?
Through Psychometric testing and EEG scans.
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What psychometric tests did they use? and why?
IQ tests and Memory tests to assess the differences between EW+EB.
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What does EEG mean?
Encephalogram
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What did the EEG assess in this study?
The brain waves of EW+EB as an objective measure of any physiological differences.
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What did the interviews and observations show about Eve White?
Demure, face looked sad, lacked boldness + spontaneity, an industrious worker and a devoted mother.
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What did the interviews and observations show about Eve Black?
Party girl, childishly vain, immediately amusing and likeable, coarse voice, used slang and was never hypnotised.
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What did the interviews and observations show about Jane?
She was superficially a compromise between Eve White and Eve Black.
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Did the family members confirm the events she reported?
Yes e.g. being punished for wondering off through the woods to play with other children.
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What did the analysis of handwriting show?
Although it appeared to be by 2 different people, it was done by the same person.
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What did the Projective personality tests show?
EW was rigid and had difficulty dealing with her hostility showing a repressed personality whereas EB had a healthier profile although she showed signs of a regressed personality.
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What were the scores on the IQ tests?
Eve White: 110, Eve Black: 104
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What did the EEG show about tenseness?
It was pronounced in EB then EW then Jane.
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True/False: EW and Jane had similar alpha waves?
True
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Was Eve Black's alpha wave faster or slower?
Faster on borderline between normal and abnormally fast.
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What did Thigpen and Cleckley observe about EW and EB (2 things)?
EW and EB may have been seen as 1 personality at 2 stages of life and EB's role was to embody all anger.
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True/False: It would not be morally wrong to 'kill off' any one personality?
False it would be morally wrong.
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Identify 4 explanations for the observations.
Skilled actress, suffering from schizophrenia, Observer bias, suffering from MPD.
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Other cards in this set

Card 2

Front

Context of the study?

Back

Multiple personality disorder (MPD) and Previous research.

Card 3

Front

What is Multiple personality disorder (MPD)?

Back

Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4

Front

True/False: Each personality is called an 'alter' and takes control spontaneously and involuntarily.

Back

Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5

Front

What is MPD know as in the USA?

Back

Preview of the front of card 5
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