The relationship between different types of dissociation and psychosis-like experiences in a non-clinical sample

Conscious Cogn. 2016 Apr;41:83-92. doi: 10.1016/j.concog.2016.02.009. Epub 2016 Feb 17.


This study investigated whether detachment-type dissociation, compartmentalisation-type dissociation or absorption was most strongly associated with psychosis-like experiences in the general population. Healthy participants (N=215) were tested with the Dissociative Experiences Scale (DES, for detachment-related dissociative experiences); the Harvard Group Scale of Hypnotic Susceptibility (HGSHS: A, for dissociative compartmentalisation); the Tellegen Absorption Scale (TAS, for non-clinical 'functional' dissociative experience); and two measures of psychotic-like experiences, the 21-item Peters et al. Delusions Inventory (PDI-21) and the Cardiff Anomalous Perceptions Scale (CAPS). In multiple regression analyses, DES and TAS but not HGSHS: A scores were found to be significantly associated with PDI-21 and CAPS overall scores. A post hoc hierarchical cluster analysis checking for cluster overlap between DES and CAPS items, and the TAS and CAPS items showed no overlap between items on the DES and CAPS and minimal overlap between TAS and CAPS items, suggesting the scales measure statistically distinct phenomena. These results show that detachment-type dissociation and absorption, but not compartmentalisation-type dissociation are significantly associated with psychosis-like experiences in a non-clinical population.

Keywords: Absorption; Compartmentalisation; Depersonalisation; Derealisation; Psychometric scale; Psychosis.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Dissociative Disorders / physiopathology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales / standards*
  • Psychometrics / instrumentation*
  • Psychotic Disorders / physiopathology*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Young Adult