Deteriorating memory confidence, responsibility perceptions and repeated checking: Comparisons in OCD and control samples
Repeated checking has been repeatedly associated with memory distrust. We sought to extend previous research using a computer-based checking task by incorporating a group of 15 individuals with OCD, and examining the effect of increased perceived responsibility. Participants were asked to repeatedly check a virtual stovetop, with half the participants also placed under a condition of high-perceived responsibility. Our observations replicated previous research showing that the act of repeatedly checking leads to reductions in memory vividness, detail and confidence, without accompanying reductions in memory accuracy. Furthermore, while a sense of increased personal responsibility had little effect on a student control sample, it led to a significant further deterioration in memory confidence in individuals with OCD. These results suggest that in people with OCD, normal reductions in memory confidence over repeated trials are exacerbated and intensified by inflated responsibility perceptions.
Behaviour Research and Therapy