Information processing of an acquaintance rape scenario among high- and low-dissociating college women


  • This paper is based on David A. Sandberg's doctoral dissertation at Ohio University. Continued work was conducted at the University of California, San Francisco, the University of North Florida, and California State University, Hayward.


To assess the impact of dissociation on information processing, 66 college women with high and low levels of trait dissociation were studied with regard to how they unitized videotape segments of an acquaintance rape scenario (actual assault not shown) and a nonthreatening control scenario. Unitization is a paradigm that measures how actively people process stimuli by recording how many times they press a button to indicate that they have seen a significant or meaningful event. Trait dissociation was negatively correlated with participants' unitization of the acquaintance rape videotape, unitization was positively correlated with danger cue identification, and state dissociation was negatively correlated with dangerousness ratings.