Master's Theses

Department

Psychology

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Abstract

This study was designed to determine some of the possible differences in normal and schizophrenic verbal behavior. Subjects were ten persons at the Larned State Hospital who had been diagnosed as schizophrenic and ten normals matched to the schizophrenics as to age, sex, and education. All subjects were requested to tell two stories including themselves, two other people, and the experimenter. References to the experimenter were reinforced by means of verbal approval (such as "good" and “mmm-hm") during the second story. The frequency of references to the experimenter was computed for each story. Comparisons were made on a group basis and all possible comparisons were made between and within the groups. Significant differences were obtained in comparing non-reinforced normal with reinforced normal subjects and in comparing reinforced normal subjects with reinforced schizophrenic subjects. Schizophrenic subjects showed greater variability in their behavior and, as a group, their reinforced stories did not differ significantly from their non-reinforced stories.

Advisor

William F. Gwynn

Date of Award

Spring 1962

Document Type

Thesis - campus only access

Rights

© 1962 Joan M. Baer Slechta

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