Responsibility and morality in OCD using a thought action fusion paradigm

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Thought Action Fusion (TAF) is a phenomenon wherein individuals have difficulty in distinguishing the likelihood or morality of internal cognitions from actual behaviours. This study aimed to test the relationship between OC symptomology and neutralising actions/anxiety at differing TAF scenario severity levels.
69 psychology students took part in the quasi-experiment with a mixed correlational and repeated measures design.
Neutralising, anxiety and appraisals were measured using visual analogue scales before and after 3 thought action fusion paradigms each designed to elicit differing levels of anxiety. In addition OC symptomology and disgust sensitivity were assessed by validated self-report questionnaires.
Results indicated no interaction between high and low OC symptom groups and the frequency of neutralising behaviours at all TAF task severity. Additionally, appraisals of responsibility induced by the task mediated between all three domains of the obsessive beliefs questionnaire and disgust sensitivity, and actual neutralising behaviours.
The present data support previous findings that neutralising is a broadly used, general response to unwanted intrusive thoughts of varying severity, and is not specific to obsessive compulsive disorder. In addition, the findings provide partial support for Salkovskis’ inflated responsibility model, with an indirect pathway being observed from responsibility beliefs, to responsibility appraisals, to neutralising behaviours.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 04 Mar 2016
EventNorthern Ireland Branch of the British Psychological Society (NIBPS) Annual Conference - Co.Louth, Dundalk, Ireland
Duration: 03 Mar 201605 Mar 2016


ConferenceNorthern Ireland Branch of the British Psychological Society (NIBPS) Annual Conference


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