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Inconsistencies in research on deficits in memory for actions in studies of obsessive-compulsive (OC) checking have refocused investigators on beliefs such as confidence in the accuracy of recall as a possible motivation for checking. Poor confidence in relation to recall may be specific (perceived poor recall for a particular event) or general (perceived poor memory ability for that class of events). The present study examines both perception of memory ability and confidence in recollections in OC checkers across a range of situations, obsessive and non-obsessive. These ratings were compared with those of non-checking obsessional patients, anxious controls and non-clinical controls. OC checkers reported poorer perception of memory ability than other groups in situations for which they are responsible, both OC relevant and OC non-relevant. OC checkers also reported lower confidence in recollections compared to the other groups; this was specific to obsessional situations for which they are responsible. These findings are considered in the context of the cognitive model of OCD.

Original publication




Journal article


J Anxiety Disord

Publication Date





118 - 130


Adult, Anxiety, Aptitude, Depression, Female, Humans, Male, Memory, Mental Recall, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, Perception, Severity of Illness Index, Surveys and Questionnaires