The authors are undertaking two tasks in this book. One is to elucidate schizophrenia on a continuum from process to reactive, with the process schizophrenics as the most pathologic and the reactive as the most nearly integrated. The other is to interpret this mental disorder within the context of existentialist theory. They conducted research in which the population sample consisted of 238 "Caucasian" patients in a Veteran's Administration hospital. On their etiological assumption that failure to progress developmentally reflects itself in schizophrenia, and that the schizophrenic continuum breaks down into five stages of severity, their "experiment proposes to distribute the schizophrenics along the five step continuum of social maturity."
For their method of study they used the Rorschach inkblots and a health-sickness scale, on which each patient's position was judged from his case history. Two clinically experienced persons did the judging in each case; psychiatric diagnoses were derived