Date of Award

Spring 1962

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts




During recent years much experimentation has been concerned with the phenomenon of perceptual defense. Most of the investigators have operationally defined "perceptual defense" as the raising of recognition thresh­olds tor anxiety-arousing stimuli over those for neutral stimuli. Some have claimed that perceptual defense is a personality variable that is present in some individuals and absent in others. Occasionally studies have investigated the effects or t.he type or stimulus material and tho type of defense mechanisms typical of the perceiver. It is generally agreed that "perceptual defenders (who will hereafter be called repressers) are those who characteristically utilize denial and repression as defense mechanisms when presented with emotionally-toned stimuli.