posted on 2023-06-07, 13:43authored byGraham C L Davey, Helen M Startup, Ayten Zara, C Benie MacDonald, Andy FieldAndy Field
This paper describes two experiments designed to investigate how a current model of task perseveration, the mood-as-input hypothesis, might be applied to activities relevant to compulsive checking. The mood-as-input hypothesis predicts that perseveration at an open-ended task will be determined by a combination of the “stop rules” adopted for the task, and the valency of the mood state in which the task is conducted. Experiment 1 required participants to generate items that should be checked for safety/security if they were leaving their home unattended. Experiment 2 used an analogue recall task, in which participants were asked to recall items from a comprehensive list of items that should be checked if they were to leave their home safe/secure. Both experiments found that perseveration at the tasks was determined by particular configurations of mood and stop rules for the task. Of most relevance to compulsive checking was the fact that facilitated perseveration occurred when participants were asked to undertake the tasks in a negative mood using “as many as can” stop rules. Implications for the factors that develop and maintain compulsive checking are discussed.
Journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry