We aim to investigate, via experimental tasks, the nature of the relationships between attachment anxiety, self structures and key phenomenological features of obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) in order to inform conceptualisations and improve psychological treatment of this disorder. In Study 1, we aim to assess whether the triggering of attachment-anxiety is associated with lower implicit self esteem (ISE) and greater urge to act in response to scenarios previously shown to be OCD-relevant. It is hypothesized that triggering attachment-anxiety will decrease ISE and result in greater urge to act in response to OCD-related scenarios. Conversely, in Study 2, we aim to assess whether priming attachment security is associated with higher implicit self esteem (ISE) and lesser urge to act in response to scenarios previously shown to be OCD-relevant. It is hypothesized that enhancing attachment security will increase ISE and result in lesser urge to act in response to OCD-related scenarios. In Study 3, we will investigate whether suppressing intrusive thoughts rated as personally meaningful will lead to decreased ISE, particularly for individuals with high attachment-anxiety. We expect the suppression of intrusive thoughts considered indicative of hidden self-aspects will result in lower ISE, in particular for individuals with high attachment-anxiety. In Studies 4, 5 and 6, we aim to replicate the findings in a clinical OCD sample. The proposed research involving the integration of OCD, cognitive, attachment and self research is consistent with the aim of creating internationally competitive ‘state of the art’, interdisciplinary research capacity within the EU. Given the expertise of the host organization, collaborator (from the applicants’ previous residence) and applicant in the development and dissemination of evidence-based psychological research, the successful reintegration of the applicant into the EU research community is extremely high.
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