Adaptive mental mechanisms. Their role in a positive psychology.

Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital, 75 Francis Street, Boston, MA 02115, USA.
American Psychologist (Impact Factor: 6.87). 02/2000; 55(1):89-98. DOI: 10.1037//0003-066X.55.1.89
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Psychology needs a metric for positive mental health that would be analogous to the IQ tests that measure above-average intelligence. The Defensive Function Scale of the DSM-IV offers a possible metric. In the present article the author links the transformational qualities of defenses at the mature end of the Defensive Function Scale--altruism, suppression, humor, anticipation, and sublimation--to positive psychology. First, the methodological problems involved in the reliable assessment of defenses are acknowledged. Next, the use of prospective longitudinal study to overcome such difficulties and to provide more reliable definition and measurement of defenses is outlined. Evidence is also offered that, unlike many psychological measures, the maturity of defenses is quite independent of social class, education, and IQ. Last, evidence is offered to illustrate the validity of mature defenses and their contribution to positive psychology.

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    ABSTRACT: Purpose To describe psychological experiences of patients 3 months after a stay in the intensive care unit (ICU), using qualitative methods. Methods 20 patients underwent clinical interview lasting one hour, and completed the Impact of Event Scale-Revised (IESR) and Hospital Anxiety and Depression (HADS) questionnaires. All interviews were recorded and coded using thematic analysis. Results All patients (100%) reported that they could not remember their ICU stay; half reported confused memories (50%) or disorientation (50%). Negatives memories were also reported (20 to 45%), namely pain, distress, sleep difficulties, noise, fear, feeling of abandon; 20% reported positive memories. At 3 months, for 10/20 (50%) patients, their ICU experience was characterised by anxiety; 3/20 (15%) presented post-traumatic stress disorder; 7/20 (35%) reported a feeling of well-being with positive life changes. Well-being seems to be associated with use of coping strategies, such as active coping, positive reframing, optimism, humour, acceptance, leisure activities and family support. Conclusion Our study highlights the need to investigate patients’ memories of ICU and the coping strategies used by patients to improve their ICU experience. Our findings suggest that a systematic follow-up consultation after ICU discharge would be useful for monitoring of post-ICU psychological outcomes.
    Journal of critical care 03/2015; DOI:10.1016/j.jcrc.2015.02.016 · 2.19 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: This paper will examine the reciprocal effect of markets on morality and morality on markets looking through the perspective of evolutionary psychology and adaptive defenses. Growing out of evolutionary psychology are the pivotal capacities for delayed gratification and trust in the complex human interactions that make possible the reciprocity between markets and morality. Adaptive defenses describe the means for individuals to adapt morality. We will apply this set of understandings to the work of Adam Smith and show the relationship between markets and morality that are in his work along with the significant psychological processes that are necessary to accomplish the application of such a theory.


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