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Multiple Identities and False Memories: A Sociocognitive Perspective Hardcover – October 1, 1996


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 371 pages
  • Publisher: American Psychological Association (APA); First Edition edition (October 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1557983402
  • ISBN-13: 978-1557983404
  • Product Dimensions: 10.2 x 7.3 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #757,629 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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21 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Dr. John Weekes on May 3, 2004
Format: Hardcover
I am a former student of Professor Spanos and worked closely with him and Dr. Lorne Bertrand at Carleton University to formulate his approach to understanding the phenomenon of multiple personality disorder during the mid-1980s. MPD or DID
(Dissociative Identity Disorder) as it is now called remains a very controversial diagnosis. If you are interested in learning more about this bizarre condition and you are skeptical by nature you will enjoy this book. Nick was one of the most analytical and clear thinkers whom I have ever met and worked with. In this book, he systematically develops the argument that a variety of social, cognitive, and other psychological and situational factors account for how and why some people present this way and come to think of themselves as having multiple identities--rather than some kind of elusive dissociating of the mind.
If you are tired of reading hocum and "pop" psychology and are looking for a truly scientific review of this phenomenon by one of the greatest and most prolific social psychologists who ever lived I highly recommend this book to you.
Check out Nick's other work on hypnosis, witchcraft, and demonic possession. By the time of his death, Nick had developed an enormous bibliography of scientific articles, chapters, and books. Many of his research designs and methodologies were truly brilliant.
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14 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Dr Robert M. Zacharko (rzachark@ccs.carleton.ca) on June 1, 1998
Format: Hardcover
Dr Nicholas P. Spanos was an excellent researcher, a prolific writer and an incredible scientist. Dr Spanos provides a cogent, credible and a scientific explanation for multiple personality disorders and false memory syndrome, among others. His convincing, documented accounts return analyses to a scientific realm rather than the halls of medical sooth sayers with special insights.
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12 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Beth on September 7, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Spanos' work has been critiqued and proven as false.

Gleaves states that the research on DID does not support the ideas that DID is a construct of either psychotherapy or the media (the sociocognitive model), but that there is a connection between DID and childhood trauma and that treatment recommendations that follow from the sociocognitive model might be harmful due to the fact that they ignore the posttraumatic symptomology of people with DID.

Gleaves, D. (July 1996). "The sociocognitive model of dissociative identity disorder: a reexamination of the evidence". Psychological Bulletin 120 (1): 42-59. doi:10.1037/0033-2909.120.1.42. PMID 8711016.

"According to the sociocognitive model of dissociative identity disorder...DID is not a valid psychiatric disorder of posttraumatic origin; rather, it is a creation of psychotherapy and the media...In this article, the author reexamines the evidence for the model and concludes that it is based on numerous false assumptions about the psychopathology, assessment, and treatment of DID. '''Most recent research on the dissociative disorders does not support (and in fact disconfirms) the sociocognitive model, and many inferences drawn from previous research appear unwarranted.''' No reason exists to doubt the connection between DID and childhood trauma. Treatment recommendations that follow from the sociocognitive model may be harmful because they involve ignoring the posttraumatic symptomatology of persons with DID."

from Brown, D; Frischholz E, Scheflin A. (1999). "Iatrogenic dissociative identity disorder - an evaluation of the scientific evidence". The Journal of Psychiatry and Law XXVII No. 3-4 (Fall-Winter 1999): 549-637.

"Conclusions...
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Format: Hardcover
Author Nicholas Spanos (1942-1994) was Professor of Psychology and Director of the Laboratory for Experimental Hypnosis at Carleton University from 1975 to his death in a single engine plane crash. He wrote other books such as Hypnosis, Hypnotism, Imagination, and Human Potentialities, etc. The Preface to this posthumous 1996 book states, "Within the past two decades, a growing number of mental health professionals and laymen have come to accept the validity of the dramatic and counterexpectational notion that a single body may in some sense be said to serve as simultaneous host to more than one personality. Historically, this phenomenon has been referred to as multiple personality disorder... what is challenged in this book is the validity of MPD..." (Pg. viii)

Spanos wrote in the first chapter, "In this book, I argue that viewing MPD as a naturally occurring mental disorder is fundamentally flawed. Instead, I describe a sociocognitive alternative to the disease model that suggests that MPD is a sociohistorical product... In the past two centuries, a number of psychiatric syndromes have developed, spread, and then all but disappeared as a function of changing conceptions held by both doctors and patients concerning the ways in which distress may be legitimately expressed." (Pg. 3)

He points out, "The available evidence fails to support the common beliefs that hypnotic procedures produce a unique state of consciousness...
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