Thought suppression, dissociation, and context effects

T.M. Giesbrecht, H.L.G.J. Merckelbach, E. Smeets

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Various studies have found that dissociative experiences, as measured by the dissociative experiences scale (des), are related to thought suppression, as measured by the white bear suppression inventory (wbsi). The link between dissociation and thought suppression was further investigated in a sample of undergraduate students (n = 220). Firstly, previous research was replicated and extended. More specifically, a robust correlation between des and wbsi was found, even when more pathological manifestations of dissociation were taken into account. Moreover, the dissociation-suppression link was carried by the thought intrusion rather than thought suppression component of the wbsi. In a subsample of our study (n = 40), the relation between dissociation and performance on a thought suppression task was investigated using highly emotional stimulus material. Interestingly, the more pathological features of dissociation were related to inferior thought suppression performance. In addition, the susceptibility of the des to context effects was illustrated, as intrusion frequency during the thought suppression task was only predicted by dissociation levels quantified separately from the thought suppression task. (netherlands journal of psychology, 62, 73-80.).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)73-80
JournalNetherlands Journal of Psychology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2006

Cite this