The discontinuity of neurosis and schizophrenia

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The evidence from genetic, physiological and behavioral studies adds up to the conclusion that neurosis and schizophrenia are behavioral disorders with separate and probably entirely unrelated etiologies. The genetic factor in schizophrenia does not coincide with that of neurosis. Several physiological features have been found in schizophrenics that are absent in normal people and neurotic patients. In particular there is evidence of an abnormality of autonomic reactivity in schizophrenics that persists even in remission. The behavioral differences between the two conditions are many. The early symptoms of schizophrenia are characteristic and distinctly not neurotic. Neurotic behavior is much more responsive to external stimulus conditions, and is lastingly modifiable by conditioning procedures in a way that schizophrenic behavior is not. There is also notable difference in response to selected performance tests. © 1970.




Wolpe, J. (1970). The discontinuity of neurosis and schizophrenia. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 8(2), 179–187.

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