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Cognitive processing in dissociation


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Powell, Olivia Cassandra 2008 , 'Cognitive processing in dissociation', Coursework Master thesis, University of Tasmania.

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Dissociation is defined as "disruption in the usually integrated functions of
consciousness, memory, identity, or perception" (DSM-IV-TR: American
Psychiatric Association, 2000), however it remains one of the least understood and
poorly defined concepts within psychology. The term is used to describe a diverse
range of psychological phenomena and distinguishing normal from pathological
dissociative phenomena is problematic. Dissociative phenomena are believed to
be experienced by most individuals and are considered adaptively functional.
Dissociation may be maladaptive however if an individual habitually dissociates in
response to everyday situations, preventing normal cognitive processing and
adaptive coping. Considerable debate exists as to whether the experience of
dissociation is normally distributed throughout the general population or whether
pathological dissociation is a categorically separate type of dissociative phenomena
that is only experienced by a few. A relationship between dissociation and trauma
history has been well established, however precisely how dissociation develops in
relation to trauma still remains unclear. Attachment theory and research have made
important contributions. Although differences in attentional and pre-attentive
cognitive processing have been associated with dissociation, there have been
relatively few research attempts to identify and investigate the specific cognitive
processes involved in dissociation. Better understanding of dissociation at the
cognitive level will not only help clarify conceptualisations of dissociation, but will
have important clinical treatment implications for a range of psychopathology in
which dissociation is present.

Item Type: Thesis - Coursework Master
Authors/Creators:Powell, Olivia Cassandra
Keywords: Dissociation (Psychology), Defence mechanisms (Psychology)
Copyright Holders: The Author
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Copyright 2008 the author - The University is continuing to endeavour to trace the copyright
owner(s) and in the meantime this item has been reproduced here in good faith. We
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Available for library use only and copying in accordance with the Copyright Act 1968, as amended. Thesis (MPsych(Clin))--University of Tasmania, 2008. Includes bibliographical references

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