Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: Obsessive Compulsive Disorder : moral reasoning, imagery and guilt
Author: Dale, Rebecca
ISNI:       0000 0004 8499 6801
Awarding Body: Royal Holloway, University of London
Current Institution: Royal Holloway, University of London
Date of Award: 2017
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Access from Institution:
OCD is a common mental health problem which causes significant distress and reduced quality of life. Recovery rates remain low; behavioural and cognitive-behavioural models may be missing key constructs. People with OCD report higher levels of responsibility than the general population. If people with OCD feel responsible for preventing harm, it follows that they feel guilty about the prospect of causing harm. Pathological levels of guilt are associated with a poor prognosis in people with OCD. People with OCD also report distressing imagery, which is linked with high levels of emotional arousal. If people with OCD experience high levels of distress, negative imagery and guilt, they may be more sensitive to moral concerns. This study recruited 205 people to test three hypotheses relating to morality, imagery and guilt. Firstly, it was proposed that people in the low-OC group would demonstrate an intention bias and those in the high-OC group would not. Secondly, more frequent use of imagery would be associated with higher levels of OCD symptomatology, distress and guilt. Finally, state and trait guilt would mediate the relationship between imagery and OCD symptomatology. Participants completed an online survey comprised of questionnaires, moral dilemmas and a visual/verbal task. People in both the low- and high-OC groups demonstrated the intention bias, meaning the expected difference in moral judgments was not found. Imagery was associated with higher levels of OCD symptomatology, state and trait guilt but not distress. State and trait guilt also partially mediated the relationship between imagery and OCD symptomatology. These findings were considered in relation to the existing literature and the strengths and limitations of the study were discussed. The results suggested that future research should focus on developing interventions targeted at pathological guilt and distressing imagery.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Clin.Psy.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: OCD ; Moral reasoning ; Imagery ; Guilt