The authors present a continuation and elaboration of their attempt to measure ambivalence and discover predictable factors that influence its fusion. For measurement they used four tests, a questionnaire, the dot-comparision test, a modified thematic apperception test, and the Szondi test. In the first three, the criteria for ambivalence were indecision, doubt, conflicting feelings, or simultaneous opposite attitudes. In the Szondi test, liking and disliking pictures within a category was the criterion. Fifty-three subjects (known to be psychoneurotic or 'borderline') were tested and rated as high, moderate, and low. External variables such as opportunities for object relationships and the character of these relationships were investigated as factors influencing ambivalence. The results suggest 'that a group with severely impaired fusion of ambivalence when compared to a group with less impaired [fusion] would most likely show as part of the
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environmental background: 1, the absence of a parent for over one year; 2, fewer older people in the family and home; 3, an older siblingposition; 4, fewer opportunities for warm object relationships during childhood; 5, parents with a similar temperament'. Subjects rated as high in ambivalence had smaller families, fewer older siblings, and fewer opportunities for warm, long, and tender object relationships.
A corollary study was made of the reactions of the subjects to tachistoscopic presentation of a scene of aggression. The imagery of the more highly ambivalent group better recaptured the preconscious percept and was richer and wider in detail. The data suggested to the authors 'that the ego which is relatively less integrated and less successful in its defensive and integrative function might be predisposed to better contact with one's inner life and perhaps also predisposed to imagination and creativity'.
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Norman, H.F. (1959). Journal of the Hillside Hospital. VII, 1958. Psychoanal. Q., 28:131-132