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Temporal stability and contextual effects in measures of dissociation and trauma: the role of belief and persuasion

Grant number: 15/05255-2
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Post-Doctorate
Effective date (Start): July 01, 2015
Effective date (End): August 31, 2018
Field of knowledge:Humanities - Psychology
Cooperation agreement: Coordination of Improvement of Higher Education Personnel (CAPES)
Principal Investigator:Wellington Zangari
Grantee:Everton de Oliveira Maraldi
Home Institution: Instituto de Psicologia (IP). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Associated scholarship(s):16/00368-6 - Development of a new implicit measure of paranormal and religious beliefs, BE.EP.PD


The trauma model states that dissociative experiences are determined by recurrent or intense episodes of stress, abuse or neglect, usually occurring in childhood. Paranormal beliefs and experiences have been considered in the literature as important correlates of dissociation and traumatic incidents. On the other hand, studies have identified important contextual effects on measures of trauma, dissociation and belief. When participants were able to infer the goals of the study, they tended to manipulate the results to positively manage the researcher's impression regarding their belief systems, by reducing their scores in psychopathological measures. Another important contextual variable is time. The trauma model predicts a high temporal stability to the reports of traumatic and dissociative experiences, but some of the available evidence is contradictory. There is also controversy about the temporal stability of paranormal beliefs. These evidences establish important challenges to the validity of the results obtained in previous research and for the construct validity of the instruments. In order to enable a detailed evaluation of certain hypotheses, the project was divided into two independent, but related, studies. In the first study, we evaluate the temporal stability of psychometric instruments of trauma, belief and transliminality (a measure of mystical and anomalous experiences), and the role of contextual effects of expectation on the scores of some of the same participants from our previous study (Maraldi, 2014), that will be invited to fulfill the scales once again under specific conditions of persuasion ("neutral", favorable or unfavorable to their beliefs). At the same time, we will evaluate the heart rate variability and electrodermal activity of participants in response to experimental treatments. In the second study, we manage to control contextual effects derived from the joint presentation of scales and presentation order. This is the first Brazilian project that has come to study the role of time, belief and persuasion on psychometric measures of trauma and dissociation. (AU)

Scientific publications
(References retrieved automatically from Web of Science and SciELO through information on FAPESP grants and their corresponding numbers as mentioned in the publications by the authors)
MENEGATTI-CHEQUINI, MARIA C.; MARALDI, EVERTON DE O.; PERES, MARIO F. P.; LEAO, FREDERICO C.; VALLADA, HOMERO. How psychiatrists think about religious and spiritual beliefs in clinical practice: findings from a university hospital in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Revista Brasileira de Psiquiatria, v. 41, n. 1, p. 58-65, JAN-MAR 2019. Web of Science Citations: 0.
MARALDI, EVERTON DE OLIVEIRA; ALVARADO, CARLOS S. Final chapter, From India to the Planet Mars: A Study of a Case of Somnambulism with Glossolalia, by Theodore Flournoy (1900). History of Psychiatry, v. 29, n. 1, p. 110-125, MAR 2018. Web of Science Citations: 0.

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