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Measuring Dissociation: Comparison of Alternative Forms of the Dissociative Experiences Scale

Daniel B. Wright and Elizabeth F. Loftus
The American Journal of Psychology
Vol. 112, No. 4 (Winter, 1999), pp. 497-519
DOI: 10.2307/1423648
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1423648
Page Count: 23
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Measuring Dissociation: Comparison of Alternative Forms of the Dissociative Experiences Scale
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Abstract

The dissociative experiences scale (DES), developed by Bernstein and Putnam (1986), is commonly used to measure dissociation in clinical populations. It is often used with nonclinical populations to assess how levels of dissociation covary with other psychometric measures. When it is used with nonclinical populations, problems arise because the resulting scores can show severe floor effects and often are highly skewed. To remedy these problems, we developed alternative ways of measuring self-reported dissociative experiences. A form of the DES in which people were required to rate how often they have each of 28 experiences compared with other people was superior in avoiding problems of floor effects and skewness. We discuss situations in which this alternative, which we call DES C, is preferred.

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