Cognitive processes in dissociation: an analysis of core theoretical assumptions.
Overgeneral autobiographical memory refers to a relative inability to respond to cue-words with memories for specific events. The present study explored the relation between overgeneral memories and dissociative tendencies. Autobiographical memory performance of college students with high self-reported dissociation was compared to that of students with low dissociation scores. Two different hypotheses were tested. The first assumes that dissociation reflects an avoidant information processing style. If true, the high dissociation group would be expected to display fewer specific memories than lowdissociative individuals. The second hypothesis builds on the finding that dissociation overlaps with fantasy proneness. To the extent that fantasy proneness implicates good story-telling abilities, one expects high dissociation individuals to display more rather than less specific memories. The results show that autobiographical memory did not differ between high and low dissociation groups, although group differences were found with regard to fantasy proneness. Copyright 2001 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.