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An experimental investigation of reassurance and responsibility

Title:

An experimental investigation of reassurance and responsibility

Parrish, Chris L (2005) An experimental investigation of reassurance and responsibility. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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Abstract

Repeated reassurance-seeking is a common phenomenon in obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). This behaviour may exacerbate compulsive urges (e.g., to check, to seek additional reassurance) by undermining confidence (Dar, 2004; Hout & Kindt, 2004), and preventing the disconfirmation of irrational threat-relevant thoughts and beliefs. The current investigation examined the effects of repeated reassurance and perceived responsibility/threat on anxiety, checking behaviour, memory and confidence. Volunteer undergraduate participants were randomly assigned to one of four conditions: high responsibility-high reassurance, high responsibility-low reassurance, low responsibility-high reassurance, or low responsibility-low reassurance, and were asked to perform several trials of a sorting task. On two separate occasions (i.e., before and after a critical trial, in which only members of the high reassurance groups received reassurance regarding their performance), participants were asked to rate their current anxiety, their urges to check their performance, their urges to be reassured that they had sorted correctly, and their confidence in the accuracy of their performance. They also completed a test to assess their memory accuracy (i.e., their ability to recall details of the experimental task). Results revealed that higher levels of perceived responsibility were associated with the maintenance of compulsive urges (to check and to seek reassurance) and performance-related doubt. Manipulations of reassurance did not significantly affect participants' ratings of the above-listed variables. The results of this study are discussed in terms of cognitive and behavioural models of OCD, and methodological issues are examined. Directions for future research are also suggested

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Psychology
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Parrish, Chris L
Pagination:x, 75 leaves : ill. ; 29 cm.
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:M.A.
Program:Psychology
Date:2005
Thesis Supervisor(s):Radomsky, Adam
ID Code:8456
Deposited By:Concordia University Libraries
Deposited On:18 Aug 2011 14:25
Last Modified:18 Aug 2011 14:25
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