Attentional bias in obsessional compulsive disorder

Tata, Philip R; Leibowitz, Judy A; Prunty, Mark J; Cameron, Mary and Pickering, Alan. 1996. Attentional bias in obsessional compulsive disorder. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 34(1), pp. 53-60. ISSN 0005-7967 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

To date, studies of information processing in anxiety disorders have suggested that the latter are characterised by vigilance for threatening stimuli, possibly specific to personally relevant threat content. The present study represents an attempt to establish whether patients suffering from Obsessional Compulsive Disorder (OCD), generally classified as an anxiety disorder, show a similar cognitive bias. Thus, a replication of MacLeod, Mathews and Tata's (1986) study [Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 95, 15–20] is reported, employing modified materials of direct concern to the OCD subjects i.e. Contamination-related words. The results did indeed reveal content specific vigilance, whereby the OCD group were more vigilant for contamination content than mood-matched High Trait Anxious (HTA) controls, but the reverse was true for Social Anxiety words. Additionally, while a general threat interference effect was identified for both OCD and HTA subjects this was not content specific. A second experiment employing Low Trait Anxious subjects revealed no vigilance for threat nor any threat interference in this sample. The clinical implications and possible mechanism underlying these results are discussed.

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January 1996Published

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14 Jun 2013 07:34

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04 Jul 2017 10:31

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