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Title: Effects of priming social values on behaviours related to obsessionality
Author: Woodfield, Rebecca
ISNI:       0000 0004 5358 8119
Awarding Body: Cardiff University
Current Institution: Cardiff University
Date of Award: 2014
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Introduction: Values have been widely researched within social psychology, particularly with regards to their effects on behaviour, but their application to mental health has been largely neglected. Some psychological therapies acknowledge the importance of values (e.g. Acceptance and Commitment Therapy) but their approaches to using values within therapies has not been empirically tested. The Schwartz model of values (Schwartz, 1992; Schwartz et al, 2012) has been demonstrated to be related to some mental health constructs and offers a potentially systematic way of understanding the dynamic relationships between values and mental health. Aims: The current research aimed to investigate the relationship between obsessionality and values within a non-clinical sample, and to demonstrate the relationship between priming values and behaviours related to obsessionality. In doing so it draws upon the Schwartz model of values and the social psychology literature on the effects of priming values on value congruent behaviour. More specifically, it investigated whether individuals primed with obsessionality related values (conservation values) performed more obsessionality related behaviours and whether obsessionality related behaviours occurred more in those with high pre-dispositions of obsessionality. The role of responsibility beliefs and the importance of value centrality were also investigated. Methods: A between-subjects experimental design was employed, with 90 participants (an obsessionality/conservation values prime group, n=30; a non-obsessionality/openness values prime group, n=30; and a control group, n=30). Univariate statistics, correlations and chi-square analyses were used to test the hypotheses. All participants completed a measure of values (PVQ-21), as well as measures of obsessionality (VOCI, SOAQ) and responsibility beliefs (RAS). All participants also completed two further tasks which incorporated obsessionality behaviours of checking, ordering and cleaning. Results: The obsessionality values primed group demonstrated more cleaning behaviour than the controls and non-obsessionality primed group. Relationships between the priming tasks and other behaviours were not significant. Levels of obsessionality related behaviours were found to not significantly differ between those with high and low obsessionality or responsibility pre-dispositions. High levels of responsibility beliefs were found to be related to self-transcendence value priorities as expected but high obsessionality beliefs were not found to be significantly related to conservation value priorities. Conclusions: This study provides empirical support for considering the values that individuals with obsessionality related difficulties hold, through demonstrating that bringing to mind obsessionality related values can lead to obsessionality related behaviour in a non-clinical sample. It also highlights the motivational underpinnings of obsessionality with regards to individuals needing substantial motivations to engage in obsessionality related behaviours in line with current conceptualisations of obsessionality related mental health difficulties. The results are discussed with reference to the existing literature and the clinical implications are outlined. The strengths and limitations of the research and ideas for future research are also presented.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Clin.Psy.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: BF Psychology