Differences between smokers and nonsmokers in personality characteristics assessed by the projective T.A.T. test
Beratis IN, Konstantinidis E, Psarra G
Aim. This study investigates the relationship between smoking and personality profile, as it is revealed by the projective T.A.T. test. Methods. Forty adults, without psychopathology, 20 nonsmokers and 20 smokers matched for age, gender, and socioeconomic status participated in the study. Bellack’s analysis for interpretation of the pictures was applied. Based on this analysis, the association between smoking and certain aspects of personality were recorded, such as basic needs, perception of the world, main anxieties, major psychic conflicts, impulse control, thinking process. Moreover, from the separate study of each picture, the association of smoking with issues related to important aspects of the individual’s approach to life, such as separation/individuation from family, relationship to other sex, relationship to parents, relationship to authority figures, understanding of social roles, investment in success and future. Results. There were differences between smokers and nonsmokers, the most important of which were: (a) smokers had stronger conflicts and a greater difficulty in controlling their psychic impulses; (b) both smokers and nonsmokers had anxiety related to rejection or none acceptance, and loss or lack of love, but these anxieties were stronger among smokers; and (c) nonsmokers had a more positive view for the world and were more optimistic. Conclusions. There are several differences in personality domains between smokers and nonsmokers assessed by the projective T.A.T. test. However it is uncertain whether these differences are caused by the tobacco smoke per se or there are preexisting personality characteristics that increase the risk for smoking.
2009 World Mental health Congress of the World Federation for Mental Health, “Working Together for Mental Health”, Athens, Greece 2-6 September, 2009