Symptom overreporting and dissociative experiences: A qualitative review

H Merckelbach, I Boskovic, D Pesy, M Dalsklev, S J Lynn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

We discuss a phenomenon that has received little attention to date in research on dissociative phenomena, namely that self-reports of these phenomena overlap with the tendency to overendorse eccentric items. We review the literature documenting the dissociation-overreporting link and then briefly discuss various interpretations of this link: (1) overreporting is an artifact of measuring dissociative symptoms; (2) dissociative psychopathology engenders overreporting of eccentric symptoms through fantasy proneness or impairments in internal monitoring; (3) an overreporting response style as is evident in malingerers, for example, promotes reports of dissociative symptoms. These three interpretations are not mutually exclusive. Also, the dissociation-overreporting link may have different origins among different samples. Because overreporting may introduce noise in datasets, we need more research specifically aimed at disentangling the dissociation-overreporting link. We suggest various avenues to accomplish this goal.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)132-144
Number of pages13
JournalConsciousness and Cognition
Volume49
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2017

Keywords

  • Alexithymia
  • CAMBRIDGE DEPERSONALIZATION
  • CLINICAL-IMPLICATIONS
  • COLLEGE-STUDENTS
  • COMBAT VETERANS
  • COMPENSATION SEEKING
  • Dissociative symptoms
  • FANTASY PRONENESS
  • Malingering
  • Overreporting
  • RESPONSE BIAS
  • SCALE
  • STRUCTURED-INVENTORY
  • TRAUMA

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