Pregenital fixation and perceptual distortions to conflict-laden material

C. Cooper, C. A. Lewis, P. Kline

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Three standard questionnaire measures of oral and anal fixation were administered to 142 students. On the basis of their scores 26 students were selected and shown tachistoscopic exposures of pictures designed to activate oral or anal conflicts. Five subjects in each group had extremely high scores on the corresponding measure of fixation, five had extremely low scores, and 16 had intermediate scores. It was hypothesised that individuals who were fixated at one or other of the psychosexual stages would show stereotyped perceptual distortions to repeated dim exposures of the corresponding picture. Highly fixated subjects showed significantly more deviant responses than did subjects who showed low levels of fixation at the same stage. A form of Q-factor analysis indicated that subjects who were fixated at the oral sadistic or anal stages showed different patterns of perceptual distortions to the anal picture than those who were not fixated. These results were interpreted as supporting the link between defenses against anal eroticism and the anal character.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)67-77
Number of pages11
JournalPerceptual and Motor Skills
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 1992
Externally publishedYes


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