Effects of State Dissociation on Objectively and Subjectively assessed Memory Disturbances
Dissociation often occurs after a traumatic experience and has detrimental effects on memory. If these supposed detrimental effects are the result of disturbances in information processing, not only subjectively assessed but also objectively assessed memory disturbances should be observed. Most studies assessing dissociation and memory in the context of trauma have studied trauma victims. However, this study takes a new approach in that the impact of experimentally induced state dissociation on memory is investigated in people with spider phobia. Note that the aim of the present study was not to test the effect of trauma on memory disturbances. We found indeed significant relations between state dissociation and subjectively assessed memory disturbances: intrusions and self-rated memory fragmentation. Moreover, although no relation was found between state dissociation and experimenter-rated memory fragmentation, we observed a relation between state dissociation and experimenter-rated perceptual memory representations. These results show that state dissociation indeed has detrimental effects on the processing of aversive events.(Published Online March 27 2006)
Key Words: Dissociation; memory disturbances; intrusions and memory fragmentation; subjective and objective assessment.
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