A comparison of self -organization of normals and people with cluster A personality disorders: Self-complexity and possible selves

Cynthia J Kok, Purdue University


Psychometric measures associated with two theories of self-organization (Linville, 1985, 1987; Markus & Nurius, 1986) were administered to two groups of college student participants. All participants were selected based upon their performance on a structured psychological interview. One group had one or more of the following cluster A diagnoses: schizotypal, paranoid, and schizoid. The other group did not have any form of psychological disorder and served as a normal control group. The basic premise of this study was that participants with cluster A personality disorders would have distinctly different patterns of self-organization as compared to normal controls. Experimental results generally confirmed this premise. Cluster A participants reported a lower ratio of hoped-for to feared possible selves, lower unity scores, and fewer balanced pairs of expected and feared possible selves as compared to controls. Additionally, cluster A participants were judged less able to cope well and problem-solve, and reported engaging in fewer behaviors designed to achieve hoped-for possible selves. Cluster A participants also reported having fewer possible selves related to family issues than controls. Cluster A participants rated themselves as less able to accomplish hoped-for and expected selves and rated their hoped-for selves as less likely to be true of them in the future. These findings may have implications for the clinical treatment of cluster A individuals. ^




Major Professor: Rebecca Davis Merritt, Purdue University.

Subject Area

Psychology, Clinical|Psychology, Personality

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