Confidence in memory and other cognitive processes in obsessive–compulsive disorder

Swin-PsyCHE Research Unit, Faculty of Life and Social Sciences, Swinburne University of Technology, PO Box 218, Hawthorn, Victoria, 3122, Australia.
Behaviour Research and Therapy (Impact Factor: 3.85). 01/2008; 45(12):2899-914. DOI: 10.1016/j.brat.2007.08.001
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Previous studies have implicated beliefs about one's memory (i.e., meta-memory), in maintaining the symptoms of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), particularly with respect to checking rituals. However, most research has focused on task- or situation-specific perceptions about memory performance. Expanding on this research, we undertook two studies with analogue and clinical cohorts to examine the relationship between general 'trait' beliefs about memory and related processes and OCD symptoms. Trait meta-memory as measured in the current study was conceptualised as a multi-dimensional construct encompassing a range of beliefs about memory and related processes including confidence in one's general memory abilities, decision-making abilities, concentration and attention, as well as perfectionistic standards regarding one's memory. Meta-memory factors were associated with OCD symptoms, predicting OCD symptoms over-and-above mood and other OCD-relevant cognitions. Meta-memory factors were found to be particularly relevant to checking symptoms. Implications for theory and research are discussed.

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