Variety of thinking - Pathopsychology

Diverse thinking

A violation of thinking, referred to as "diversity", is that the judgments of patients about a phenomenon occur in different planes.

Patients can correctly digest the instruction. They can generalize the material they offer; The knowledge that they actualize about subjects can be adequate; they compare objects on the basis of substantial, properties of objects reinforced in the past. At the same time, patients do not perform tasks in the required direction: their judgments take place in different channels.

This is not about the comprehensive, typical approach to the phenomenon of a healthy person approach to the phenomenon, in which actions and judgments remain conditioned by the purpose, conditions of the task, the attitudes of the person.

It is also not about those fluctuations in the level and content of judgments that arise as a result of the changed dynamics of thinking. As we said above, with inconsistent judgments, patients for a period of time are deprived of the opportunity to properly and adequately reason. However, this does not represent a loss of purposeful thinking activity as such. Actions of the patient are adequate to the goal and conditions set by the experimenter (for example, the patient leaves a generalized way of solving and starts to unite objects on the basis of a specific feature), but his actions are carried out in the classification plan: he unites objects on the basis of properties, attributes of the objects themselves. With the diversity of thinking, the very basis of classification does not have a single character. Patients unite objects during the performance of the same task, then on the basis of the properties of the objects themselves, then on the basis of personal tastes, attitudes. The classification process takes place in patients in different channels.

We give for illustration some examples of the patient Mr. (schizophrenia, paranoid form).

Table 13

Completing the job object classification (patient Mr. with "diversity" of thinking)

Subjects grouped together in a group

Explanation of the patient

Elephant, horse, bear, butterfly, beetle and other animals


Airplane, butterfly

Group flying (the butterfly is withdrawn from the group of animals)

Shovel, bed, spoon, car, airplane, ship

Iron. Items that testify to the strength of the human mind (the plane is removed from the flying group)

Flower, saucepan, bed, cleaner, saw, cherry

Items painted in red and blue

Elephant, skier

The object for the spectacle. People tend to want bread and circuses, the ancient Romans knew about it

Cabinet, table, shelf, cleaner, shovel

Furniture. This is a group sweeping the bad out of life. The spade is the emblem of labor, and labor is not compatible with a scam

Flower, bushes, trees, vegetables and fruits


A glass, a cup, a saucepan


From the table above it is clear that the patient, Mr. M, separates the groups on the basis of a generalized feature (animals, dishes, furniture), then on the basis of the material (iron), colors (pictures are painted in red and blue). Other subjects are combined on the basis of the moral and general theoretical representations of the patient (group "sweeping out the bad from life", the group "testifying to the strength of the human mind", etc.).

Some patients are guided by personal tastes, scraps of memories when performing a task. So, patient S-in (paranoid form of schizophrenia), performing the task on the "classification of objects", tries to form groups of animals, plants, but immediately adds: "But if you approach from my personal taste point, I do not like mushrooms , I'll throw this card away. Once poisoned with mushrooms. But I like this dress too, it's not exquisite, I'll put them aside. But I like the sailor, and I admit sport (combines sailor and skier into one group) & quot ;.

Thus, the patient loses the goal of the task not because he was exhausted, but because he performs the classification proceeding from the "personal" taste, then putting in the foundation the memory that he "was poisoned by mushrooms".

Another patient, K-n (schizophrenia), described by us together with P. Ya. Galperin, at the classification of objects does not agree to refer the dog to the group of pets that they have allocated: "I will not eat dog". The focus on the objective content of the action is lost, along with adequate judgments is the "versatile" character of thinking. Such a diversity was discovered by us during the job "exclusion of objects".

Here are some examples from the experiment of a patient with schizophrenia (simple form) in the table. 14.

As can be seen from Table. 14, the patient is able to perform the task on a generalized level; she excludes the sun as a natural star, but immediately allocates glasses based on personal taste: she "does not like them"; not because they are not a measuring instrument. On the same basis the patient also allocates an umbrella.

As a result of the simultaneous co-existence, intertwining of all these different aspects, different approaches to the task of judging, the definitions and conclusions of the patients do not represent a systematic, purposeful fulfillment of the task. Logical judgments, scraps of ideas, elements of memories, desires are intertwined in the mental activity of patients.

Table 14

Executing a job excluding items (patient Mr. with "diversity" of thinking)

Presented images

Statements of the patient

A kerosene lamp, a candle, an electric bulb, a sun

We need to distinguish the sun, it's a natural light, the rest is artificial lighting

Scale, thermometer, watch, glasses

I do not like glasses, I do not like glasses, I love pince-nez, why do not they wear them? Chekhov was wearing

Drum, cap, umbrella

The umbrella is not needed, now they wear cloaks. Umbrella is an outdated attribute, I am for modernism

GV Birenbaum [34] noted similar disorders of thinking in the study of patients with schizophrenia. She pointed out that in patients, thinking "flows as if along different channels simultaneously". Defining this symptom as the "passing of the essence", GV Birenbaum noted that the patients often substituted the fulfillment of the task by revealing a subjective attitude to it (oral communication).

When performing any of the simplest tasks, the patients did not approach from the positions determined by the concrete situation of the experiment, but were guided by the changed attitude, the changed attitudes. In this case, there could not be a direct injection of the content of the psychopathological symptom into the experimental situation (for example, the patient did not "twist" the elements of delirium into the task). However, along with adequate associations, connections that had something to do with the patient's painful attitudes, who acted in this particular situation as "bizarre", were animated. The objective meaning of things becomes unstable, sometimes contradictory in one and the same semantic situation.

Such an inadequate linkage of things that do not stand in connection with each other, appears because the patient becomes able to consider the most common things in inadequate aspects of the situation.

These data are in accordance with many clinical data. An analysis of the case histories of these patients, observations of their behavior in life and the hospital, revealed the inadequacy of their life patterns, the paradoxical nature of their motives and emotional reactions. The behavior of patients deviated from the usual standards. Previous interests , the patient's views recede into the background before inadequate, painful attitudes. The patient could not care for his loved ones, but he showed increased concern about the "food ration" his own cat, another patient could leave his profession and, condemning the family to hardships, was engaged in the fact that he kept things in front of the camera for days on end, because, in his opinion, "the vision in different angles leads to an expansion of the mental horizon." >

The paradoxical nature of the settings of these patients, the semantic bias, led to a profound change in the structure of any activity, both practical and mental. As essential, it was that which corresponded to the paradoxical changes of the patient. When performing experimental tasks that required comparison and selection of characteristics, such a sense bias led to the operation of inadequate facilities.

If a patient who saw the meaning of life in the arrangement of objects in front of a photographic lens classified objects based on their location on the pictures, then the choice of such a principle was meaningful for him.

In those cases when the patient is captured by delusional experiences, the "diversity" thinking stands out clearly and in a clinical conversation. In a situation that is not emotionally saturated, the "diversity" thinking can only come in a rudimentary form. However, as we saw above, it can clearly show up in the experimental situation. In these cases, the semantic bias leads to the actualization of non-significant, latent (SL Rubinstein) properties coexisting with adequate ones. Thinking is deprived of purpose.

In his report to the XVIII International Congress of Psychologists in Moscow (1966), "Needs, Motives, Consciousness AN Leontiev said that "the values ​​acquired by a person may be narrower or wider, less adequate or more adequate, but they always retain their objectified, as it were," superficial character " [111, 9]. Obviously, in the patients described by us, this supra-personal the nature of the values ​​is lost.

thematic pictures

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