Personality factors related to response to social isolation and confinement

Dalmas A. Taylor*, Irwin Altman, Ladd Wheeler, Estelle N. Kushner

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


Examined (1) personality factors relating to or predictive of endurance and adjustment to social isolation, and (2) personality and/or perceptual changes occurring under varying conditions of social isolation. Pairs of men were confined for 8 days in small rooms without recreational materials of any kind and a minimal work schedule. Multiple conditions of isolation were effected by a factorial combination of mission-length expectation, stimulation, and privacy. 8 Holtzman Inkblot Technique variables showed significant changes from before to after confinement. Most of these changes were among variables included in W. H. Holtzman's (see 36:5) Factors I and II. Movement, Color, Penetration, and Barrier changes were associated with varying conditions of confinement. Interpretation of Factor I changes was confounded by corresponding changes in verbal productivity. Other instruments used provided only marginal findings as regards prediction or adjustment. A post hoc analysis of disruptive groups yielded a syndrome of adjustment possibly related to extreme or severe conditions of social isolation. Suggestions for future research leading to selection and training are discussed. (32 ref.) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)411-419
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of consulting and clinical psychology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Aug 1969
Externally publishedYes


  • personality correlates
  • social isolation


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