Publication Date

2013-07-31

Availability

Open access

Embargo Period

2013-07-31

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PHD)

Department

Psychology (Arts and Sciences)

Date of Defense

2013-06-25

First Committee Member

Debra Lieberman

Second Committee Member

Michael McCullough

Third Committee Member

Kiara Timpano

Fourth Committee Member

Rick Stuetzle

Fifth Committee Member

William Searcy

Abstract

Three studies were conducted to examine the possibility that the expression of obsessive-compulsive (OC) washing and checking symptoms reflect impairments in cognitive mechanisms underlying adaptations for disease avoidance and physical harm avoidance, respectively. Studies provided initial evidence that specialized attention, memory and reasoning processes exist depending on whether adaptations for disease avoidance or physical harm avoidance are activated. The data provided no support for the hypothesis that individuals expressing OC contamination and physical harm concerns evince concern-related attention, memory, and reasoning biases.

Keywords

OCD; adaptation; attention; memory; reasoning

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