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THE EXISTENTIAL SIGNIFICANCE THAT INJUSTICE IN HUMAN RELATIONSHIP HAS FOR THE NEUROTIC

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In this study the meaning of injustice was restricted to that occurring in human relationship, and was defined to connote the failure on the part of an individual engaged in some form of interpersonal interchange to recognize the distinctive stance in existence of the one with whom his verbal exchange takes place. In order to test the hypothesis that neurotics are particularly sensitive to injustice, a paper and pencil test was devised to assess the degree of helplessness that 25 neurotics and 38 normals indicated when confronted with cartoon-like situations which had been prejudged in terms of their depiction of either justice or injustice in human relationship. Although neurotic and normal subjects were equally involved in these situations, the neurotic subjects rated themselves significantly more helpless than normal subjects in the situations characterized by injustice. The meaning of this finding was discussed in terms of the neurotic's helpless inability to find “confirmation” in the unjust relationship, and the suggestion was made that psychotherapy derives its potency from the counselor's willingness to enter into the sphere of genuine dialogue.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 January 1974

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