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Imaginative, dissociative, and schizotypal processes in obsessive-compulsive symptoms

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Abstract

This study investigates imaginative, dissociative, and schizotypal processes that are potentially relevant to obsessive-compulsive (OC) symptoms. Students (n = 377) completed questionnaires that assessed inferential confusion, absorption, schizotypal personality, and other domains. Hierarchical regression revealed that inferential confusion and absorption were the most consistent predictors of OC symptoms; other content predicted variance for specific OC symptoms. For example, schizotypal personality predicted checking and hoarding symptoms, but not cleanliness or ordering rituals. Immersive tendencies predicted cleanliness and hoarding but not checking or ordering rituals. Results are consistent with an inference-based model of OC, in which an overreliance on imagination during reasoning gives rise to experiences that are inconsistent with reality. This study suggests additional domains that may help explain why intrusive thoughts become obsessions. © 2010 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Clin Psychol 67:1–8, 2010.

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