E. de Beurs
R. van Dyck
- Elzinga, B. M., de Beurs, E., Sergeant, J. A., Van Dyck, R., & Phaf, R. H. (2000). Dissociative style and directed forgetting.
- Cognitive Therapy and Research
- Volume | Issue number
- 24 | 3
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Psychology Research Institute (PsyRes)
Dissociative style may correspond to an enhanced ability to avoid conscious recollection of traumatic experiences, which may, however, remain dormant in nonconscious memory. This hypothesis was tested in two "directed-forgetting" experiments with affectively neutral words (experiment 1) and sex and threat words (experiment 2) employing a total of 83 first-year psychology students high and low in dissociative style, and 14 dissociative patients. Conscious and nonconscious memory were separated with the process dissociation procedure (L. L. Jacoby, 1991). Instruction to forget was expected to reduce conscious but to enhance nonconscious memory performance in Ss with a high dissociative ability. Results were opposite to predictions. Particularly for sex words, the instruction to forget raised the overall (conscious and nonconscious) memory performance of the patients. An alternative construction hypothesis is proposed that identifies dissociative style with enhanced skills of constructing conscious experiences.
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