Field dependence and the differentiation of affective states
The extent to which anxiety, irritability and depression were differentiated as separate entities associated with characteristic patterns of somatic and cognitive symptoms by field dependent (FD) and field independent (FI) normal female subjects was studied with the Hidden Figures Test and Unpleasant Emotions Questionnaire. In the FI group the correlations between the three emotions were low and non-significant, reflecting a clear-cut differentiation in symptom configuration, as shown by psychiatrists. In the FD group the inter-correlations were significant and positive, corresponding to relatively poor symptom differentiation, comparable to that of a psychiatric patient group. This suggests that the cognitive style variable of field dependence may underly differences in symptom differentiation associated with psychiatrist/patient differences and, more generally, with social class and sex differences.