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ERIC Number: EJ996441
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013-Mar
Pages: 8
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 27
ISSN: ISSN-1328-4207
The Induction of Mental and Contact Contamination
Lee, Michelle; Shafran, Roz; Burgess, Charlotte; Carpenter, Jodi; Millard, Emma; Thorpe, Susan
Clinical Psychologist, v17 n1 p9-16 March 2013
Background: Extreme fear of contamination within obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) is traditionally conceptualised as a physical phenomenon. More recent research has supported the notion of "mental" contamination (MC) in which people feel contaminated in the absence of physical contact. The current research sought to determine whether feelings of contact contamination (CC) and MC could be induced within a non-clinical sample, whether the impact of MC and CC was comparable in terms of associated feelings and behaviour, and whether related psychopathology related to the impact of the tasks. Methods: Undergraduate students (n = 60) completed OCD relevant measures and were randomly assigned to either a CC condition (moving a bucket of fake vomit) or an MC condition (thinking about a bucket of vomit). Results: Both manipulations induced feelings of contamination. Participants in the contact condition had significantly greater urge to wash than those in the mental condition. Neutralising behaviour did not differ across conditions. Conclusions: Feelings of contamination can be induced in the absence of physical contact and for those in the MC group some aspects of OCD-relevant psychopathology were related to the impact of the manipulation. These findings have implications for the understanding and treatment of contamination-related fears in OCD. (Contains 2 tables.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom (Reading)