Journal article

Anxious and obsessive-compulsive traits are independently associated with valuation of noninstrumental information.

Daniel Bennett, Kiran Sutcliffe, Nicholas Poh-Jie Tan, Luke D Smillie, Stefan Bode

Journal of Experimental Psychology: General | Published : 2020

Abstract

Aversion to uncertainty about the future has been proposed as a transdiagnostic trait underlying psychiatric diagnoses including obsessive-compulsive disorder and generalized anxiety. This association might explain the frequency of pathological information-seeking behaviors such as compulsive checking and reassurance-seeking in these disorders. Here we tested the behavioral predictions of this model using a noninstrumental information-seeking task that measured preferences for unusable information about future outcomes in different payout domains (gain, loss, and mixed gain/loss). We administered this task, along with a targeted battery of self-report questionnaires, to a general-population ..

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