An analysis of trauma-related time distortions [thesis]

Leah Campbell
Current theories of dissociation are deficient, in that diverse symptoms are grouped under one global classification. This thesis used a multi-pronged approach employing clinical and analogue studies to deconstruct one commonly reported peritraumatic dissociative symptom: time distortion. Study 1 tested the proposal that time slowing during a traumatic event would be associated with the development and maintenance of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). The findings indicated that
more » ... time slowing was associated with more severe PTSD symptoms and a threefold increase in the probability of PTSD three months later. Study 2 examined qualitative aspects of time distortion experience during traumatic events. The results indicated that time slowing was linked with the anticipation of aversive outcomes of the event. Study 3 tested the hypothesis that increased arousal would be associated with overestimates of stimuli duration. The findings indicated that higher levels of arousal were associated with longer time judgments. Study 4 investigated hyperarousal in a naturalistic setting involving extreme stress in skydivers. Higher ratings of fear were associated with a tendency to overestimate event duration. Study 5 investigated hypnotically-induced temperature change and time perception. The results indicated that highly hypnotisable hypnotised participants overestimated stimuli duration following a warming suggestion. Studies 6a, 6b, 7 and 8 investigated whether emotional material was perceived differently to non-emotional material. Studies 6a and 6b demonstrated that the duration of emotionally negative material was overestimated relative to neutral or positive material. Study 7 examined the combined effect of valence and physiological arousal on time perception. The results suggested that arousal mediated the effect of valence on time perception. Study 8 employed clinical and non-clinical samples to investigate time perception for autobiographical memories. The results indicated that people currently experien [...]
doi:10.26190/unsworks/19591 fatcat:owe3kattl5gnzij4twgzvhayfy