Generators and interpretors in a performing arts population: Dissociation, trauma, fantasy proneness, and affective states

Paula Thomson*, E. B. Keehn, Thomas P. Gumpel

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations

Abstract

An international sample of 130 working artists was divided into two domains: generators (writers, designers, choreographers, one composer) and interpreters (directors, actors, opera singers, dancers). The correlations between dissociation, trauma experiences, fantasy proneness, and affective states were examined, followed by a regression analysis to predict elevated levels of dissociation. Artists, regardless of creative domain, scored in the moderate range for dissociation and fantasy proneness. Both groups endorsed lower levels of affective variability than a normed group. Interpreters scored significantly higher than generators on total dissociation, absorption/ imagination, absorption/changeability, and depersonalization/derealization. Additive factors of younger age, affective states of anger, sadness and spirituality, and higher scores on fantasy proneness and traumatic experiences predicted elevated levels of dissociation, with only sadness predicting pathological dissociative levels on the taxometric Dissociative Experiences Scale-II (DES-II) subscale. Given these findings, greater awareness about dissociation and the need for an elaborated model of affect regulation is recommended.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)72-91
Number of pages20
JournalCreativity Research Journal
Volume21
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2009

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