Explorations of the Defense Mechanism Inventory: Relationships to self-deception, anxiety, and intelligence
Nolder, Mark Elwood
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The empirical study of defense mechanisms has been impeded by the absence of research designs adequate to either confirm or refute psychodynamic theory (Kline, 1981). One instrument that may offer a reliable and valid tool for studying defense mechanisms is the Defense Mechanisms Inventory (DMI: Gleser & Ihilevich, 1969). The present investigation assessed the validity of a Likertscaled version of the DMI through correlations with measures of self-deception, trait anxiety, and intelligence. Impression management was controlled in all analyses through the use of partial correlations. Results did not support the validity of the DMI as a measure of defense mechanisms, and suggestions were made for scale modifications.