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We have to be careful making casual conclusions based on correlations because correlations are a statistical technique for summarizing data that can be used in other studies, they are not definitive evidence, correlations are indication that something MIGHT be related in some fashion. Correlations can be used as part of the foundation that does lead to concrete evidence but when push comes to shove correlations are pieces of an entire picture (Hansen and Myers, 2012). If you remember back to DQ1, the concept of the third variable problem was brought up. I will connect that to this question, the third variable can help connect the correlations to the over arching answer the research is looking for.
The hypothesis I have been contemplating for my research project has taken a little time to put in order. I think the Big FIve Personality Traits function differently in a patient with DID. What this means is let’s say we have a patient who is high in Conscientiousness and low in Agreeableness, when they switch to an alternate personality that personality may be high in Openness and low in Conscientiousness. What got me down this path actually started a few classes ago, if a patient becomes a completely different person then they aren’t going to have the same personality and because of that the alter could fall somewhere differently on the Big Five Personality scale. If that alter has their own history, ages, and gender then it does not seem much of a stretch that one or more traits from the Big Five would be different. The root of this hypothesis is from personal experience, I know someone with the disorder and that is what made me start researching. I was always amazed at how different my friend and their alter was, after coming to GCU I started to gain a deeper understanding of DID. Once I understood the process a person goes through when switching to an alter, I was then able to begin to question the intricacies of DID. That is how the Big Five came into the picture, it did not seem outside the realm of possibility that the Big Five would change when switches happen. I had to study the Big Five more before this hypothesis came about, I think observing videos of shamanistic rituals is when I got a clearer picture of this possibility. Some cases of possession might be DID rather than legitimate demonic possession, this is why psychologists are consulted by the Catholic church before exorcisms. By observing people I did not know it removed any potential bias that might be present with my friend. I think reading the works of Carl Jung and Jordan Peterson helped me understand how the personality forms, that was a big help in understanding the Big Five. Without all of this prior knowledge it would have been difficult to write this hypothesis.
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