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Cognitive dissonance in trauma : the conflict between belief, autobiographical memory and overt behaviour

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dc.contributor.advisor Papaikonomou, Maria Engelbrecht, Gerhardina Cornelia 2016-02-22T13:12:30Z 2016-02-22T13:12:30Z 2015-10
dc.identifier.citation Engelbrecht, Gerhardina Cornelia (2015) Cognitive dissonance in trauma: The conflict between belief, autobiographical memory and overt behaviour, University of South Africa, Pretoria, <> en
dc.description.abstract This research was aimed at giving a voice to three women, who are constructed as having had a traumatic event recalled from their autobiographical memory. To achieve this objective an epistemological framework of social constructionism was used to investigate autobiographical memory recall of trauma. Three in-depth interviews were conducted with participants who constructed themselves as having had a traumatic event. A case study approach was used to gain access to the information and to compare themes. The research explored the way in which dissociation, voluntary thought suppression, minimisation and outright denial enabled the three participants to alter unbearable memories through the use of recurring themes. To interpret these stories the content of the themes was analysed using thematic content analysis. The participants represented different cultures, languages and religions. In sharing their symptoms this did not necessarily mean they attached the same meaning to a specific theme, as individual meaning-making corresponded to the individual‟s background and history and their perception of the trauma. The stories related by the three participants revealed a shattered worldview that brought them into opposition with community norms and standards, which the narrators experienced as silencing and judgemental. In this regard the researcher‟s aim was to generate information from the participants themselves. This inquiry into the personal trauma stories and meanings suited a qualitative research approach, a form of methodology that allowed personal insight into the meanings the three participants attributed to their trauma and the autobiographical recall of trauma. At the same time it allowed a co-constructed reality to take shape between the researcher‟s reality and the participant‟s reality, always acknowledging the importance of their being the expert of their own individual trauma memory. This is in contrast to a quantitative approach which focuses on numbers to quantify the results; a qualitative approach on the other hand is a personal, rich information-gathering tool that takes into account the emotions and meaning-making of each individual story without any intention to generalise the information gathered to a larger population It is hoped that through this research there is a realisation that although trauma victims share symptoms, the meaning-making of the individual attached to this trauma is influenced by their society and history within their respective environments. en
dc.format.extent 1 online resource (viii, 184 leaves) en
dc.language.iso en en
dc.subject Anger en
dc.subject Autobiographical memory en
dc.subject Behaviour en
dc.subject Belief en
dc.subject Belonging to a group or culture en
dc.subject Cognition en
dc.subject Constructivism en
dc.subject Denial en
dc.subject Destructiveness en
dc.subject Dissonance en
dc.subject Guilt en
dc.subject Hopelessness en
dc.subject Innateness of reaction to trauma en
dc.subject Memory en
dc.subject Powerlessness en
dc.subject Self-blame en
dc.subject Trauma en
dc.subject Trust en
dc.subject.ddc 153
dc.subject.lcsh Cognitive dissonance en
dc.subject.lcsh Cognitive psychology -- Case studies en
dc.subject.lcsh Autobiographical memory -- Social aspects en
dc.subject.lcsh Post-traumatic stress disorder -- Case studies en
dc.subject.lcsh Post-traumatic stress disorder -- Psychological aspects en
dc.subject.lcsh Post-traumatic stress disorder -- Social aspects en
dc.subject.lcsh Social constructionism en
dc.title Cognitive dissonance in trauma : the conflict between belief, autobiographical memory and overt behaviour en
dc.type Dissertation en
dc.description.department Psychology en M.A. (Psychology)

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