Think twice: Impulsivity and decision making in obsessive–compulsive disorder

Grassi, Giacomo and Pallanti, Stefano and Righi, Lorenzo and Figee, Martijn and Mantione, Mariska and Denys, Damiaan and Piccagliani, Daniele and Rossi, Alessandro and Stratta, Paolo (2015) Think twice: Impulsivity and decision making in obsessive–compulsive disorder. Journal of Behavioral Addictions, 4 (4). pp. 263-272. ISSN 2062-5871


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Background and Aims Recent studies have challenged the anxiety-avoidance model of obsessive–compulsive disorder (OCD), linking OCD to impulsivity, risky-decision-making and reward-system dysfunction, which can also be found in addiction and might support the conceptualization of OCD as a behavioral addiction. Here, we conducted an exploratory investigation of the behavioral addiction model of OCD by assessing whether OCD patients are more impulsive, have impaired decision-making, and biased probabilistic reasoning, three core dimensions of addiction, in a sample of OCD patients and healthy controls. Methods We assessed these dimensions on 38 OCD patients and 39 healthy controls with the Barratt Impulsiveness Scale (BIS-11), the Iowa Gambling Task (IGT) and the Beads Task. Results OCD patients had significantly higher BIS-11 scores than controls, in particular on the cognitive subscales. They performed significantly worse than controls on the IGT preferring immediate reward despite negative future consequences, and did not learn from losses. Finally, OCD patients demonstrated biased probabilistic reasoning as reflected by significantly fewer draws to decision than controls on the Beads Task. Conclusions OCD patients are more impulsive than controls and demonstrate risky decision-making and biased probabilistic reasoning. These results might suggest that other conceptualizations of OCD, such as the behavioral addiction model, may be more suitable than the anxiety-avoidance one. However, further studies directly comparing OCD and behavioral addiction patients are needed in order to scrutinize this model.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion / filozófia, pszichológia, vallás > BF Psychology / lélektan
Depositing User: László Sallai-Tóth
Date Deposited: 30 Jul 2016 10:31
Last Modified: 31 Dec 2016 00:16

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