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Weiss, J. (1959). Intensity as a Character Trait. Psychoanal Q., 28:64-72.

(1959). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 28:64-72

Intensity as a Character Trait

Joseph Weiss, M.D.


The intense individual avoids ultimate gratification to avoid dangers originating in various phases of development: on the oral level, incorporation and destruction of the object; on the Oedipal level, guilt over sexual impulses. The avoidance of gratification results in a constant damming up of energy which the intense individual tends to discharge in motor activity. By eagerly anticipating deferred gratification, unconsciously forbidden, the intense individual avoids anxiety connected with gratification and by his intensity denies this avoidance.

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