Can we understand your unconscious thoughts relating to OCD using a computer task?
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is a disorder that affects 1-2 people per hundred. Most people with OCD report unwanted, upsetting thoughts or images that come into their mind which are called obsessions. Often, people with OCD use a wide range of strategies, both mental and physical, to get rid of obsessions and the anxiety they cause. These are called compulsions. As with obsessions, compulsions typically have themes, such as washing, cleaning and checking. These thoughts and behaviours are also found in the general population.
The most common way to understand the two core dimensions that drive compulsions is by asking people directly (explicitly). However, this method presents some difficulties as it may be difficult for individuals to articulate thoughts and feelings that may not in their immediate awareness but may be more of a sensory nature. An alternative way to explore these core dimensions is by using measures that rely on brief, automatic responses that are not readily accessible to the individual’s awareness (implicit). It is hoped that this research will help to explore these sensory based phenomenon such as perceptions of incompleteness using this different method. For those working with or supporting with the treatment of OCD, it is important to have a better method to examine these dimensions as it will have an impact on the treatment methods chosen.
Dr Kristina Vella is conducting research in this area. The study is being conducted in collaboration with the Univeristy of Nottingham and University of Lincoln. The main purpose of this study is to explore ways of how to better understand the two core psychological dimensions proposed to underpin compulsions (harm avoidance and incompleteness) in OCD. This study is the first of its kind in Malta and uses a novel way of exploring thoughts.
Participants will be using a computer task to understand their unconscious thoughts relating to OCD, at a time and date convenient for the participants. Everyone is invited to take part.
If interested send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Full details will be provided upon confirmation of participation.