Focus on Social Interaction

The Studious Avoidant

Personality and Social Life

An intelligent young woman, Linda, sought guidance concerning a girlfriend, Cathy, a social isolate who almost never came out of her dorm room except to attend classes and eat hurried meals at the cafeteria. Although the other girls on her floor had tried to approach her, Linda was the only one Cathy had let approach her and only then after two years of living on the same floor. If the other girls tried, Cathy would explain in a nervous voice that her classes had extensive reading requirements and that she needed complete privacy to study. In fact, Linda revealed, Cathy felt an extreme sense of inferiority and feared that if she ever became involved with the other girls, she would eventually find them making fun of her behind her back. Such fears of shame and humiliation, associated with an alienated self-image, are common in the avoidant personality.

Morphological Organization

This domain refers to the overall architecture of the mind and self. An individual's psychic interior may display weakness in its structural cohesion, exhibit deficient coordination among its components, or possess few mechanisms by which to maintain homeostatic balance and harmony, regulate internal conflict, or mediate external pressures. The "organization of the mind" is a concept derived from inferences almost exclusively made with information that might be gathered from the psychodynamic perspective.


Although almost all people experience variations in their emotional reactions, many individuals are strongly disposed toward certain emotional reactions rather than others, a

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