Literature suggests that checking behaviors are aimed at reducing feelings of uncertainty both in clinical samples with obsessive-compulsive disorder and in general population. Previous studies also showed that deontological guilt is an emotion often associated with obsessive-compulsive disorder. Thus, the aim of the current study was to investigate the differences in checking behaviors in the condition of high versus low uncertainty, by exploring the moderating role of deontological versus altruistic guilt. Participants were 108 undergraduate Italian university students who took part in a visual search task designed to elicit checking behavior. Ahead of the visual task, participants were administered one scenario in order to manipulate either deontological or altruistic guilt. The results showed that in the condition of uncertainty, compared with the condition of certainty, participants spent more time in checking behaviors and that such a difference was more consistent when participants experienced deontological rather than altruistic guilt. Limitations and further directions are discussed.

Am I guilty or not? Deontological guilt, uncertainty, and checking behavior

Salvati, Marco;
2019

Abstract

Literature suggests that checking behaviors are aimed at reducing feelings of uncertainty both in clinical samples with obsessive-compulsive disorder and in general population. Previous studies also showed that deontological guilt is an emotion often associated with obsessive-compulsive disorder. Thus, the aim of the current study was to investigate the differences in checking behaviors in the condition of high versus low uncertainty, by exploring the moderating role of deontological versus altruistic guilt. Participants were 108 undergraduate Italian university students who took part in a visual search task designed to elicit checking behavior. Ahead of the visual task, participants were administered one scenario in order to manipulate either deontological or altruistic guilt. The results showed that in the condition of uncertainty, compared with the condition of certainty, participants spent more time in checking behaviors and that such a difference was more consistent when participants experienced deontological rather than altruistic guilt. Limitations and further directions are discussed.
altruistic guilt
checking behaviors
deontological guilt
obsessive-compulsive disorder
uncertainty
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11562/1050138
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