Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

BACKGROUND: Repeated checking in OCD can be understood from a cognitive perspective as the motivated need to achieve certainty about the outcome of a potentially risky action, leading to the application of Elevated Evidence Requirements (EER) and overuse of subjective criteria. METHOD: Twenty-four obsessional checkers, 22 anxious controls, and 26 non-clinical controls were interviewed about and rated recent episodes where they felt (a) they needed to check and (b) checked mainly out of habit (i.e. not obsessionally). RESULTS: Both subjective and objective criteria were rated as significantly more important in obsessional checkers than in controls; obsessional checkers also used more criteria overall for the termination of the check, and rated more criteria as "extremely important" than the control groups. The termination of the check was rated as more effortful for obsessional checkers than for the comparison groups. Analysis of the interview data was consistent with the ratings. Feelings of "rightness" were associated with the termination of a check for obsessional checkers but not for controls. CONCLUSION: Results were consistent with the proposal that the use of "just right feelings" to terminate checking are related to EER.

Original publication




Journal article


Behav Cogn Psychother

Publication Date





139 - 155


Obsessive compulsive disorder, checking, elevated evidence requirements, stopping criteria, Adult, Anxiety, Case-Control Studies, Emotions, Female, Humans, Male, Middle Aged, Motivation, Obsessive Behavior, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder