Larger than life: Overestimation of object size is moderated by personal relevance in obsessive–compulsive disorder

Publication year: 2011
Source: Journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry, Volume 42, Issue 4, December 2011, Pages 481-487

Steffen, Moritz , Georg W., Alpers , Lisa, Schilling , Lena, Jelinek , Amanda, Brooks , …

 Background and Objectives: Along with other cognitive biases overestimation of threat (OET) has been implicated in the pathogenesis of obsessive–compulsive disorder (OCD). The present study investigated whether OET would not only manifest in cognitive distortions but, also in overestimations of the object size of disorder-related visual objects. Methods: A total of 65 participants with OCD and 55 healthy controls who were recruited via OCD online forums underwent an incidental learning paradigm consisting of two blocks. In Block 1, participants were asked to rate the valence and the personal relevance for individual OCD concerns of 40 pictures which varied in size. Differences in size,…

 Highlights: ► Patients with obsessive–compulsive disorder (OCD) over-estimate the size of disorder-related objects. ► Threat manifests in both cognitive and neuropsychological distortions in OCD. ► Bias modification training deserves consideration to ameliorate such distortions in OCD.