Date of Award
Bachelor of Science
Memory, checking, OCD, metamemory
The current study aimed to investigate the relationship between obsessive-compulsive symptomatology, checking behaviors, and metamemory. Previous research has suggested the possibility of a reciprocal relationship between checking behaviors and memory confidence. This idea is based on the belief that OCD individuals, in general, have less confidence in their memory, which leads to a compulsion to check, yet the act of checking may actually increase memory distrust (van den Hout & Kindt, 2004). Using a program similar to the stove-checking paradigm originally developed by van den Hout and Kindt (2003), I required individuals varying in OCD symptomatology to manipulate the burners of a virtual stove and either check or not check that it was turned off. Responses to an obsessive-compulsive inventory (OCI), were utilized to create high and low OCD groups. In order to examine the experience of performing a repeated task, measures of memory confidence, vividness and detail of recollection, personal responsibility, state anxiety, and outcome confidence were included. The original hypotheses suggested that individuals who experience more OCD symptoms would report higher levels of state anxiety and perceived responsibility while manipulating the stove, and that the higher ratings of state anxiety and responsibility would be accompanied by a greater decrease in memory accuracy and metamemory measures. While results from the study failed to support these hypotheses, the results presented here suggested that performing one check per trial may improve memory accuracy and metamemory measures across repeated trials relative to not checking. Additionally, higher ratings of personal responsibility among the low OCD group indicated the need for further exploration of the relationship between OCD symptomatology, checking behaviors, and memory measures
Kinsella, Alison, "Why Check? An Investigation of the Relationship Between Checking Behaviors, Obsessive-Compulsive Symptomatology and Metamemory in a Virtual Stove-Checking Task" (2021). Honors Theses. 2540.
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