Drug of choice, gender and personality. A percept-genetic investigation of drug addicts

Edward Montgomery

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis (monograph)


The topic dealt with in this thesis is whether, as Wieder and Kaplan (1969) suggest, the personality of drug addicts is related to their particular drug of choice. The subjects were 128 heavy drug addicts, 37 women and 91 men, each of them selected for the fact of there being one basic drug he/she abused. The drug of choice was either heroin (30 women, 52 men), amphetamine (7 women, 32 men) or cannabis (7 men). The personality of the subjects was determined by means of two percept-genetic techniques, the Spiral Aftereffect Technique (SAT) and the Defense Mechanism Technique modified (DMTm). Analysis of the data was performed in several steps. The men and the women were first studied separately. This was followed by comparison of subjects of differing gender who used the same drug, and then by comparison of the subjects differing in both gender and the drug they abused. Since no differences in SAT/DMTm were found between the male amphetamine and the female heroin abusers, the data of these groups were examined further, together with the data of the male heroin abusers, through use of Multidimentional Scaling. The most typical signs of the male heroin abusers were LLs in the SAT and in the DMTm denial 1 and repression 3 without repression 6. Both the female heroin and the male amphetamine abusers were characterized by L- in the SAT and in the DMTm by denial through reversal III and repression 6. Repression 3 and/or 6 were uncommon among the male cannabis abusers, who more often then the other male abusers were classified as M in the SAT. The woman abusing amphetamine were characterized by denial through reversal IV in the DMTm. The Andersson (1991) model of the mind served as a basis for interpreting these results. It is suggested that a pentad, consisting of steps 3-7 of Wurmser´s (1978) "heptad of specificity in compulsive drug use", and corresponding to the first five positions in the Andersson model, provides a useful description of the vicious circle involved in drug abuse.
Translated title of the contributionDrug of choice, gender and personality. A percept-genetic investigation of drug addicts
Original languageSwedish
Awarding Institution
  • Department of Psychology
  • [unknown], [unknown], Supervisor, External person
Award date2002 Sep 4
Print ISBNs91-628-5286-8
Publication statusPublished - 2002

Bibliographical note

Defence details

Date: 2002-09-04
Time: 10:15
Place: Carolinasalen, Kungshuset

External reviewer(s)

Name: Johnsson, Per
Title: Associate Professor
Affiliation: Department of Psychology, Lund University


Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Psychology


  • SAT
  • personality
  • percept-genesis
  • drug of choice
  • DMTm
  • drug addiction
  • Psychology
  • Psykologi


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