The relationship between flilcker fusion measurements and anxiety level

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INTRODUCTION AND STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM The need for reliable, quantitative and sensitive measures of personality variables and the promise of sensory threshold determinations for such use prompted, the present investigation. One particular need is for measures which are sensitive in time to changes in the level of the variables being considered. The personality variable to be considered in this paper is anxiety and the sensory discrimination procedure is that which provides flicker fusion measurements. In order to study the relationship between anxiety level and flicker fusion measurements, it is essential to specify a measurable meaning for the term anxiety and utilize criteria which are sufficiently sensitive to provide an ordering within the population being examined. The population relevant to this investigation involved one group of subjects who manifested complaints associated with the psychiatric syndrome, anxiety reaction described in the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical’ " Manual: Mental Disorders* (1952, p. 32) as follows: “In this kind of reaction the anxiety is diffuse and not restricted to definite situations or objects, as In the case of phobic reactions. It is not controlled by any specific psychological defense mechanism as in other psychoneurotic re- actions. This reaction is characterized by anxious expectation and frequently associated with somatic symptomatology. The condition is to be differentiated from normal apprehensive ness or fear.” The term is synonymous with the former term anxiety state. With regard to this clinical use of the term anxiety, Henderson and Gillespie 1947, p. 107) state: Anxiety as a technical term is a fear of danger usually from within. It may occur either as a continuing state of fear, or more commonly as episodic attacks. The episodes have the well-marked physical manifestations usually associated with fear. It is said that & typical anxiety attack has nothing but somatic symptoms; there Is usually, however, a conscious fear, generally of illness but usually undefined. In limiting the concept anxiety to the above mentioned symptomatic-clinical definition, one must acknowledge other views regarding anxiety. While the anxiety studied, in this paper represents overt psychological and physiological signs of discomfort and uneasiness, the concept of anxiety has received increasing attention from students of philosophy, anthropology, psychology, psychoanalysis and neurology in their attempts to deal with personality, learning and cultural phenomena.



This thesis was digitized as part of a project begun in 2014 to increase the number of Duke psychology theses available online. The digitization project was spearheaded by Ciara Healy.





Goldstone, Sanford, 1926- (1953). The relationship between flilcker fusion measurements and anxiety level. Dissertation, Duke University. Retrieved from


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