Thigpen and Cleckley 1954

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Thigpen, C.H. & Cleckley, H. (1954) A case of multiple personality.

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Thigpen and Cleckley 1954
1 Background
1.1 Multiple Personality Disorder (MPD) is a disorder in which two or more distinct personalities coexist within one individual. It is an example of a neurotic disorder.
2 Conclusions
2.1 Diagnosis of MPD is very unreliable. Women are more likely to be diagnosed than men.
2.2 In 1977 Chris Sizemore (Eve’s real name) wrote ‘I’m Eve’ and revealed herself as the famous Eve in TV interviews.
2.3 Thigpen and Cleckley were convinced that they had witnessed an example of MPD. It is thought that MPD is usually a response to child abuse-a way to protect him/herself.
3 Evaluation
3.1 Strengths
3.1.1 Case study rich, detailed quan and qual data Longitudinal- observe changes and development over time Find out the origins and causes of abnormal behaviour
3.2 Weaknesses
3.2.1 Ethical issues Intrusion into the lives of her and her family. Informed consent: it is unclear whether Eve was able to make an informed judgement to participate in the study.
3.2.2 Case Study Subjective: The close relationship between researcher and participant may introduce bias. Cannot be easily generalised as it only involved one participant who may not be typical of MPD. Retrospective data is unreliable as it is based on memories recalled from childhood and is prone to bias.
4 Results/ Findings
4.1 Eve White obtained an IQ of 110 and Eve Black 104.
4.2 Eve White had a superior memory than Eve Black.
4.3 Eve Black was regressive whilst Eve White was repressive showing obsessive-compulsive traits, rigidity and an inability to deal with her hostility.
4.4 Eve White and Jane both had normal EEG results with 11 cycles per second, whereas Eve Black's was psychopathic at 12.5 cycles per second.
4.5 Eve White had a superior memory, and Eve Black an inferior memory.
5 Method
5.1 Aim: To provide an account of the treatment of a 25-year-old woman referred to Thigpen and Cleckley with 'severe and blinding headaches'.
5.2 case study method
5.2.1 Eve White, a 25 year old married American woman 14 months, interviews totalling approximately 100 hours
5.3 Qual and Quan data gathered- triangulation
5.3.1 Interviews with her and her family, hypnosis, EEG tests and psychometric and projective tests: Wechsler memory tests, human figure drawing and ink blot tests and IQ tests.