Leave everything to the imagination: Cognitive functioning of individuals high in dissociative absorption and imaginative involvement

Noa Bregman-Hai, Shirley Abitbul-Gordon, Inbal Deutsch, Dror Garbi, Leah Shelef, Nirit Soffer-Dudek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations

Abstract

Dissociative “absorption and imaginative involvement” is a tendency to become immersed in a stimulus while neglecting one's surroundings, engage in vivid imagination, confuse fantasy with reality, and act automatically. We aimed to identify the specific impairments and benefits in cognitive functioning which may characterize dissociative absorption. We hypothesized that absorbers will demonstrate impaired inhibition and working memory alongside superior imagination abilities. Healthy young Israeli soldiers (N = 160) performed a battery of cognitive tasks. As hypothesized, absorbers were substantially faster in a mental rotation task, and demonstrated impaired accuracy in cognitive tasks demanding high capacity of working memory, inhibition and sustained attention, stemming mostly from commission, rather than omission, errors. Our findings objectively validate the self-reported heightened imaginative abilities characterizing dissociative absorption.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)129-138
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Research in Personality
Volume76
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2018

Keywords

  • Absorption
  • Cognitive functioning
  • Dissociation
  • Executive functioning
  • Imagination

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Psychology (all)

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