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Title: The relationship between dissociation, susceptibility to doubt and obsessive-compulsiveness
Author: Morrison, Kerry
ISNI:       0000 0004 5347 850X
Awarding Body: University of Surrey
Current Institution: University of Surrey
Date of Award: 2015
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Objective : Dissociation has been suggested as a common experience amongst individuals with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), yet this area has received limited research beyond demonstrating a relationship exists. The current study sought to generate new knowledge about how and why dissociation might occur within the context of OCD. Inferential Confusion (IC), an OCD specific style of reasoning resulting in obsessive doubts, was considered one promising line of enquiry. IC and dissociation both involve elements of engaging with one’s imagination. It was predicted that traits of dissociative absorption and detachment would be able to predict the extent to which individuals are susceptible to doubt through over investing in possibility-based information, and that this doubt in turn would be related to their degree of obsessive-compulsiveness (OC). Design: A quasi-experimental design was employed to elicit a measure of IC, through the online Inference Process Task (IPT). The IPT is a reasoning task designed to assess changes in levels of doubt. Further cross-sectional data was attained through online completion of self-report measures of OC, dissociative traits and depression. Participants: 114 non-clinical participants were recruited, 48 were classified as experiencing high OC, and 66 as experiencing low OC. Results: As expected, a positive relationship existed between OC and dissociative traits, with correlations ranging from r = .23 to r = .73. However dissociative traits were not found to predict susceptibility to doubt arising from possibility-based information. Contrary to expectation and previous studies, IC was not significantly correlated with OC (r = .08). Conclusion: It was concluded that dissociative traits had not played a significant role in IC. However, this conclusion should be generalised with caution as the results also suggested the IPT may not have reliably operationalised IC. Further replications of the current study would be beneficial, perhaps including an alternative measure of IC.
Supervisor: Simonds, Laura Sponsor: Surrey and Borders Partnership NHS Foundation Trust
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Psych.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available