Obsessions and compulsions and intolerance for uncertainty in a non-clinical sample

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Francesco Mancini, Francesca D'Olimpio, Marisa Del Genio, Fabrizio Didonna, Elena Prunetti (2002): Obsessions and compulsions and intolerance for uncertainty in a non-clinical sample. In: Journal of Anxiety Disorders, 16 (4), pp. 401 - 411, 2002, ISSN: 0887-6185.

Abstract

It has been hypothesized that decision-making difficulties in patients with obsessive–compulsive disorder may arise from intolerance for uncertainty. We investigated the relationship between obsessivity and intolerance for uncertainty (defined in terms of need for cognitive closure), controlling for state and trait anxiety and depression. We tested non-clinical subjects through the Need for Closure Scale (NFCS), the Padua Inventory Revised (PI-R), the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI), and the State–Trait Anxiety Inventory (Form-Y; STAI-Y). A principal component analysis showed a lack of correlation between the PI-R and the NFCS subscales. A set of multiple regression analyses performed on PI-R subscales showed that the need for cognitive closure cannot be considered as a strong predictor of obsessions and compulsions. These results speak against the hypothesis that people with high obsessivity have difficulties in taking decisions because of a cognitive need for certainty. We instead argue that difficulties in taking decisions may be related to other specific cognitive beliefs or meta-beliefs.

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