The impact of compulsive cleaning on confidence in memory and cleanliness
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Recent research has helped elucidate a potentially important mechanism by which repetitive, compulsive behavior leads to memory and perceptual distrust. Although the effects of repeated checking and perseverative staring have been investigated, no research to date has examined the impact of compulsive cleaning on cognitive confidence. This study examined the effect of repeated cleaning in a cohort of 60 non-clinical participants. Two sets of items were used - three different colored bowls, and three different colored plates. Participants either repeatedly cleaned bowls or plates, with the other set serving as a control. A range of variables was also assessed at pre-test and post-test, including the accuracy of memory for which items were cleaned, as well as confidence in memory, and confidence that the items were clean. Results demonstrated that while there was no impact on memory accuracy, participant's memory confidence for the control items improved, while memory confidence for the repeatedly cleaned items did not. There was also no impact of repeated cleaning on confidence in cleanliness of repeatedly cleaned or control items. Results expand on previous research examining repeated behavior and metacognition, and provide initial insights into differences between repeated checking and cleaning.
Journal of Anxiety Disorders
Copyright 2011 Elsevier. This is the author-manuscript version of this paper. Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. Please refer to the journal's website for access to the definitive, published version.
Psychology not elsewhere classified