A SERIES of studies of personality, as reflected by perceptual field dependence, in groups of medical patients characterized by common physical symptomatology, suggests that most such patients are atypically field dependent. Ulcer patients,1 obese women, alcoholics,3 5 patients with functional cardiac disorders,6 and asthmatic children7 have been shown to be significantly more field dependent than normal controls. In view of the relative stability of performance on tests of field dependence over time,8 these findings have suggested the possible etiological significance of field dependence for development of certain diseases.
In a recent study by Silverstone and Kissin,9 however, patients with essential hypertension or peptic ulcers did not differ significantly from controls. Of particular importance to understanding these results in relation to those of the earlier studies is the fact that the Silverstone and Kissin patients and controls were all drawn from the