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Abstract

Dissociative symptoms and abnormalities in pain perception have been associated with a range of disorders. The authors tested whether experimentally induced increases in state dissociation would cause an analgesic response. Participants (N = 120) were randomized to a dissociation induction condition via audiophotic stimulation or a credible control condition and were compared on pre- and postchanges in subjective pain and immersion time in response to a standard cold pressor test. Unexpectedly, the dissociation induction led to small, but significant increases in subjective pain and did not lead to greater immersion time. An exploratory analysis revealed that increases in absorption and derealization significantly predicted increased subjective pain and increased immersion time, respectively.