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Hopkins, J. (1951). 'Personality Changes after Pre-Frontal Leucotomy.': Asenath Petrie.. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 32:268.
Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: 'Personality Changes after Pre-Frontal Leucotomy.': Asenath Petrie.

(1951). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 32:268

'Personality Changes after Pre-Frontal Leucotomy.': Asenath Petrie.

J. Hopkins

Brit. J. Med. Psychol., 1949, 22, Parts 3–4.

This is the second of two papers, each of which is a report on the changes in their performances on certain psychological tests of twenty patients who had undergone leucotomy. These patients are described as 'displaying depressed, anxious or obsessional features'. No further clinical description or valuation is given, and the report is in terms of behavioural performances on the tests. The patients were tested before leucotomy and three months and nine months after the operation. The first paper dealt with the results after three months; this deals with results after nine months. About ten tests altogether were used. Mainly, however, two sets were employed: (a) Tests of Intelligence: the Wechsler Scale, the Porteous Mazes and part of the Stanford-Binet Test. (b) Tests of 'Neuroticism': Body Sway (Suggestibility), the Track Tracer (level of aspiration and work curve). Other tests included also tests of physical endurance, of concentration, of attitudes to illness, of response to jokes. All these tests are often used as aids in differentiating between neurotics and normals. The only changes reported are those which were statistically significant. Results showed (1) that, on the whole, there was a drop in I.Q. as measured by the Wechsler Test—the drop being due to a significantly lower performance on the verbal sub-tests; (2) an improvement of the ability to generalize correctly; (3) greater difficulty in dealing with social concepts; (4) some loss of ability to learn from errors. Furthermore, patients (a) became less persistent at their tasks; (b) tended to concentrate on speed rather than accuracy (e.g. on the Track Tracer); (c) showed less suggestibility (as measured by the Body Sway test); (d) were more realistic in their level of aspiration for a particular task. There was also included a test designed to measure the 'tendency to self-blame'—in this case, specifically, the tendency to ascribe undesirable traits to oneself. This tendency, which had already diminished three months after leucotomy, had diminished further after nine months. The general conclusions show that 'measures associated with neuroticism' (Eysenck) had decreased, and that performance intelligence scores had slightly increased.

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Article Citation

Hopkins, J. (1951). 'Personality Changes after Pre-Frontal Leucotomy.'. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 32:268

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