; An Experimental Investigation of Compulsive Ordering and Arranging
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An Experimental Investigation of Compulsive Ordering and Arranging


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									                                                                                                An Experimental Investigation of Compulsive Ordering and Arranging:
                                                                                                                 Memory Bias for Threat-Relevant Stimuli
                                                                                                Elissa R. Golden, Laurie A. Gelfand, Chris L. Parrish & Adam S. Radomsky, Concordia University, Montreal

                                  Abstract                                                                                                Method                                                                                                                                     Results
                                                                                                                                                                                                                         100                                                                                100

Ecologically valid investigations of compulsive washing and                                  Room Condition: 20 common objects; each object’s position & orientation was                                                 90

checking have shown consistent evidence of a threat-relevant                                 standardized for easy replication across conditions and participants.                                                       80
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    80                                            *

memory bias. This study was designed to assess the presence of a                                                                                                                                                         70                                                                                         70

memory bias in association with compulsive ordering and
                                                                                                                                                                                                                         60                                                                                         60

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    R eco gnition
                                                                                                                                                                                                            R e c a ll
                                                                                                                                                                                                                         50                                                                                                                                             % of 5 key items
arranging in a sample of undergraduate students. Participants                                                                                                                                                                                                                 % of 5 key items                      50

                                                                                                                                                                                                                         40                                                                                                                                             % of other 15 items

were randomly assigned to one of four room conditions: Orderly;
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              % of other 15 items                   40
Slightly Orderly; Disorderly; and Slightly Disorderly. After leaving the                                                                                                                                                 20

room and completing a distractor task, participants recalled as                                                                                                                                                          10

many objects from the room that they could remember.                                                                                                                                                                      0
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Slightly    Orderly   Disorderly   Slightly                                         0

Participants in the Slightly Disorderly condition remembered
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Slightly    Orderly   Disorderly   Slightly
                                                                                                                                                                                                                               disorderly                          orderly
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         disorderly                          orderly

proportionately more disorderly objects than orderly objects.                                                                                                                                              Recall & Recognition:
Results are discussed in terms of cognitive and behavioural                                                                                                                                                  •Participants in the Slightly Disorderly and Slightly Orderly conditions
approaches to understanding compulsive ordering and arranging.                                                                                                                                                remembered (F(3,76) = 13.25, p < .05) and subsequently
                                                                                                                                                                                                              recognized (F(3,76) = 9.29, p < .05) proportionately more of the
                                                                                                                  Disorderly                                                Orderly                           disordered than ordered objects.
                               Introduction                                                                                                                                                                  •No significant difference in recall or subsequent recognition of
•Compulsive ordering and arranging is a form of OCD                                           • Procedure:                                                                                                    orderly and disorderly objects in Orderly or Disorderly conditions.
 characterized by the need to order and arrange one’s
                                                                                                  Assessment: ADIS-IV (DiNardo et al., 1994) and Questionnaire package
 surroundings to ensure their belongings are placed “just right”.                                                                                                                                                                                                             Discussion
•Previous studies have demonstrated a general preference for                                                                                                                                               •Evidence for an explicit memory bias in association with threat-relevant
 order and symmetry among university students, and general                                                                   Instructions
                                                                                                  (“Make a plan about how you would organize this room for Part II of the                                   stimuli (disordered objects) based on both recall and recognition tests.
 feelings of anxiety and discomfort associated with disorderly
 environments (Radomsky & Rachman, 2004).                                                                                      study”)                                                                        – Participants remembered proportionately more disorderly objects
•Memory biases for threat-relevant stimuli have been associated                                                                                                                                                 than orderly objects in both the Slightly Disorderly and Slightly
 with many anxiety disorders (Coles & Heimberg, 2002) and more                                   Participant assigned to 1 of 4 room conditions (Timed & Video recorded)                                        Orderly conditions.
 recently with other subtypes of OCD like compulsive washing                                                                                                                                               •The three control conditions (Orderly, Very Disorderly and Slightly
 (Radomsky & Rachman, 1999) and checking (Radomsky et al.,                                                                                                                                                  Orderly) show that this result is not because the disordered objects in
 2001).                                                                                        Slightly Disorderly              Orderly              Slightly Orderly                Disorderly
                                                                                              (5 disorderly, 15 orderly)
                                                                                                                                                                                                            the Slightly Disorderly condition are displayed differently and therefore
                                                                                                                           (20 orderly, 5 yoked)   (5 orderly, 15 disorderly)   (20 disorderly, 5 yoked)
•The current investigation extended a previous protocol                                                                                                                                                     better remembered because they are more salient.
 examining the link between a natural preference for order and                                                                                                                                             •These results are consistent with theories of information processing and
 symmetry and a memory bias for threat-relevant stimuli                                                                       SUDS (after task) & Urge ratings                                              mood (Bower, 1981; Rogers et al., 1977).
 (Radomsky & Rachman, 2004).
                                                                                                                                                                                                           •Researchers investigating explicit memory bias are encouraged to use
•It was hypothesized that participants would show enhanced
                                                                                                                                         Distractor Task                                                    ecologically valid stimuli.
 recall and recognition for threat-relevant objects (disorderly) as
 opposed to non-threatening orderly objects.                                                                                                                                                               •There are important implications for psychoeducation and treatment
                                                                                                                           Memory tests (Recall & Recognition)                                              of individuals with ordering and arranging compulsions.
                                                                                                                                                                                                           •Future research should assess clinical participants and also investigate
                                   Method                                                                                                  Results                                                          whether an implicit memory bias exists for threat-relevant stimuli
•Participants:                                                                                 Subjective Anxiety (SUDS):
   – 80 volunteer students recruited from Concordia University.                                  SUDS mean after task was highest in the Disorderly condition                                                                                                                 References
   – 72.5 % of participants were female.                                                         Positive correlation between SOAQ scores and SUDS post-task rating ( r =                                  Bower, G.H. (1981). Mood and memory. American Psychologist, 36(2), 129-148.
 Normative Data: Mean (SD)                                                                       .25, p < .05)                                                                                             Coles, M.E., Heimberg, R.G.(2002). Memory biases in the anxiety disorders; Current
                                                                                                                                                                                                                 status. Clinical Psychology Review,22, 587-627.
                                                                                                                                                                                                           Di Nardo, P.A., Brown, T.A., & Barlow, D.H. (1994). Anxiety Disorders Interview Schedule
                  Age          SOAQ           VOCI           BDI-II          BAI                                                                                                                                 for DSM-IV (ADIS-IV). NY: Phobia and Anxiety Disorders Clinic.
                                                                                               Urge Rating
                                                                                                                                                                                                           Radomsky, A.S., & Rachman, S. (2004). Symmetry, ordering and arranging compulsive
                                                                                                 Mean Urge rating lowest for Orderly condition and highest for Disorderly                                        behaviour. Behaviour Research and Therapy,42(8), 893-913.
  Total                                                                                          and Slightly Orderly conditions.
                 23.66          11.86         24.58           8.53          7.28                                                                                                                           Radomsky, A.S., & Rachman, S. (1999). Memory bias in obsessive-compulsive disorder
 Sample                                                                                                                                                                                                          (OCD). Behaviour Research and Therapy,37(7), 605-618.
                 (4.94)        (12.55)       (23.09)         (8.00)        (6.89)                Positive correlation between SOAQ scores and urge ratings (r = .41, p <
 (N=80)                                                                                          .01)                                                                                                      Radomsky, A.S., Rachman, S., & Hammond, D. (2001). Memory bias, confidence, and
                                                                                                                                                                                                                 responsibility in compulsive checking. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 39(7),
SOAQ = Symmetry, Ordering, and Arranging Questionnaire; VOCI = Vancouver Obsessional-                                                                                                                            813-822.
Compulsive Inventory                                                                                                                                                                                       Rogers, T.B.,Kuiper, N.A., & kirker, W.S. (1977). Self-reference and the encoding of
                                                                                                                                                                                                                 personal information. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 35, 677-688.
                                                                                        Presented at the 66th Canadian Psychological Association Convention, Montreal, QC, June 2005

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