Inferential Confusion and Obsessive Beliefs in Obsessive‐Compulsive Disorder

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The goal of the present study was to investigate whether inferential confusion could account for the relationships between obsessional beliefs and obsessive‐compulsive disorder (OCD). The Inferential Confusion Questionnaire and the Obsessive Beliefs Questionnaire were administered to a sample of 85 participants diagnosed with OCD. Results showed that the relationship between obsessive beliefs and obsessive‐compulsive symptoms decreased considerably when controlling for inferential confusion. Conversely, the relationship between inferential confusion and obsessive‐compulsive symptoms was not substantially affected when controlling for obsessive beliefs. Since inferential confusion has an overlap with overestimation of threat, a competing hypothesis for the results was investigated. Results indicated that inferential confusion was factorially distinct from overestimation of threat, and that the independent construct of inferential confusion remains significantly related to obsessive‐compulsive symptoms when controlling for anxious mood. These results are consistent with the claim that inferential confusion may be a more critical factor in accounting for OCD symptoms than are obsessive beliefs and appraisals.

Keywords: beliefs; inference‐based approach; inferential confusion; obsessive‐compulsive disorder; reasoning

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Centre de Recherche Fernand‐Seguin, Montréal, Québec, Canada 2: University of Amsterdam, Department of Clinical Psychology, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Publication date: September 1, 2006

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