Workshop III. Clinical Modification of Behavior

  • Wagner H. Bridger


Some very important issues at various levels have been discussed. If what has been reported is valid—and this validation must await replication—we have made some fundamental breakthroughs in terms of health. McClelland claimed that he was able to identify certain personality characteristics which are present in Western society and which make many people prone to various major medical illnesses. Among these illnesses there are primarily cardiovascular disturbances, but also peptic ulcer and according to some investigators an increased susceptibility to cancer. McClelland states that this specific personality characteristic which makes an individual susceptible to illness is what he calls, “the need for power.” Though McClelland didn’t mention the studies of Friedman and Rosenman (1959), these investigators described a type A personality which is very similar to the characteristics described by McClelland as “the need for power.” Friedman and Rosenman state that type A personality is a coronary-prone individual who also has high levels of catecholamines. Furthermore, these findings are similar to what has been reported from Stockholm by Dr. Levi (1971) who has described the factors that lead to increased catecholamine production in terms of response to stress. However, McClelland is going further and has specified the specific personality that predisposes individuals to a hypercatecholamine response and in addition he has described the kind of environment that leads these susceptible individuals to give these responses.


Behavioral Therapy Achievement Motivation Albert Einstein College Reciprocal Inhibition Antianxiety Drug 
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  1. Friedman, M., and Rosenman, R. H. (1959). Association of specific overt behavior pattern with blood and cardiovascular findings; blood cholesterol level, blood clotting time, incidence of arcus senilis, and clinical coronary artery disease. JAMA 169, 1286–1296.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Levi, L., Ed. (1971). Society, Stress and Disease. London: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  3. Levi, L., and Kagan, A. (1971). A synopsis of ecology and psychiatry: Some theoretical psychosomatic considerations, review of some studies and discussion of preventive aspects. Psychiatry (Part 1). Proceedings of V World Congress of Psychiatry. Mexico City, 25 November-4 December 1971, p. 379.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1976

Authors and Affiliations

  • Wagner H. Bridger
    • 1
  1. 1.Albert Einstein College of MedicineNew YorkUSA

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