Breaking point (psychology)
The intensity of environmental stress necessary to bring this about varies from individual to individual.
Getting someone to confess to a crime during an interrogation – whether innocent or guilty – means the suspect has been broken. The key to breaking points in interrogation has been linked to changes in the victim's concept of self – changes which may be precipitated by a sense of helplessness, by lack of preparedness or an underlying sense of guilt, as well (paradoxically) as by an inability to acknowledge one's own vulnerabilities.
Some psychoanalysts say that rigid personalities may be able to endure great stress before suddenly cracking open.
- G. A. Kimble, Psychology (1996) p. 1oo
- G. H. Gudjonsson, The Psychology of Interrogation and Confession (2003) p. 192
- D. Goleman, Emotional Intelligence (1996) p. 204
- Otto Fenichel, The Psychoanalytic Theory of Neurosis (1946) p. 122-5
- R. Skynner/J. Cleese, Families and how to survive them (1994) p. 116-7
- Neville Symington, Narcissism: A New Theory (2000) p. 79
- Eric Berne, A Layman's Guide to Psychiatry and Psychoanalysis (1976) p. 51