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Psychol Bull. 1994 Jul;116(1):143-65.

Multiple identity enactments and multiple personality disorder: a sociocognitive perspective.

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Department of Psychology, Carleton University, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.


People who enact multiple identities behave as if they possess 2 or more selves, each with its own characteristic moods, memories, and behavioral repertoire. Under different names, this phenomenon occurs in many cultures; in North American culture, it is frequently labeled multiple personality disorder (MPD). This article reviews experimental, cross-cultural, historical, and clinical findings concerning multiplicity and examines the implications of these findings for an understanding of MPD. Multiplicity is viewed from a sociocognitive perspective, and it is concluded that MPD, like other forms of multiplicity, is socially constructed. It is context bounded, goal-directed, social behavior geared to the expectations of significant others, and its characteristics have changed over time to meet changing expectations.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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