Responsibility, probability, and severity of harm: An experimental investigation of cognitive factors associated with checking-related OCD.

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Publisher: Elsevier Science Publishers
Document Type: Report; Brief article
Length: 288 words

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Keywords Obsessive-compulsive disorder; Compulsive checking; Responsibility; Cognitive-behavioural model; Threat estimation; Appraisals Highlights * An Experimental manipulation of probability of harm increased time spent checking. * An Experimental manipulation of severity of harm increased time spent checking. * These effects occurred across all participants but were stronger for those with OCD. * Results support the cognitive model of compulsive checking. * CBT should target beliefs about probability and severity of harm. Abstract The cognitive model of compulsive checking () proposes that perceptions of responsibility, seriousness of harm and probability of harm interact to promote checking behaviour. We examined these factors in an ecologically valid experimental paradigm. Two groups of participants (participants with OCD who compulsively check and undergraduate controls) were assigned to a high or low responsibility condition, and then checked objects representing: (a) high seriousness of harm (stove burners), (b) low seriousness of harm (light bulbs), (c) high probability of harm (functional burners and bulbs), and (d) low probability of harm (non-functional burners and bulbs). In general, a diagnosis of OCD, as well as conditions of increased severity/likelihood of harm, and to a lesser degree, increased responsibility, led to a greater period of time spent checking. Implications for the cognitive-behavioural model of and treatment for compulsive checking are discussed. Author Affiliation: Department of Psychology, Concordia University, Canada * Corresponding author. 7141 Sherbrooke West, Montreal, Quebec, H4B 1R6, Canada. Article History: Received 24 February 2021; Revised 12 November 2021; Accepted 5 January 2022 (footnote)1 Present address: Department of Clinical Health Psychology, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba. (footnote)2 Present address: Département de Psychoéducation et de Psychologie, Université du Québec en Outaouais, Outaouais, Québec. Byline: Adam S. Radomsky [adam.radomsky@concordia.ca] (*), Gillian M. Alcolado (1), Michel J. Dugas (2), Stefanie L. Lavoie

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A692744303