The Measurement of Psychological States through the Content Analysis of Verbal Behavior

The Measurement of Psychological States through the Content Analysis of Verbal Behavior

The Measurement of Psychological States through the Content Analysis of Verbal Behavior

The Measurement of Psychological States through the Content Analysis of Verbal Behavior

Excerpt

The method of verbal content analysis presented in the following chapters had antecedents in earlier work of the authors. Even prior to this collaborative endeavor, the senior author had committed himself to the investigation of verbal behavior.

While a research associate at the Institute for Psychosomatic and Psychiatric Research and Training of the Michael Reese Hospital in Chicago, Illinois (1948-1951), Dr. Gottschalk became interested in exploring emotional factors that contribute to or trigger epileptic convulsions. It was during the process of these psychophysiological studies of epilepsy that he decided to pursue the systematic and microscopic analysis of verbal behavior. Briefly, the sequence of events that aroused his interest was the following. He took three boys into psychotherapy; one, 17 years old, received psychoanalytic psychotherapy, and the other two, 4½ and 8 years old, received child psychoanalysis. The results of this study (Gottschalk, 1953, 1956) provided strong evidence that psychological factors played a causal role in the occurrence of the epileptic seizures of these children. On moving to the National Institute of Mental Health at Bethesda, Md., in June, 1951 to become a research psychiatrist there, Dr. Gottschalk decided to pursue further the psychophysiological factors in epilepsy. Dr. David McK. Rioch, Director of the Division of Psychiatry and Neurology, Post-Graduate School at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, made available to Dr. Gottschalk rich clinical material and provided electroencephalographic laboratory facilities. Several longitudinal investigations were begun of military personnel who had developed seizures during their tour of duty. Patients were selected for study who had frequent discrete paroxysms (about one every 2-3 minutes) of readily distinguishable high-

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