Relationship between religiosity and thought action fusion: a behavioral paradigm Public Deposited

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  • March 22, 2019
  • Berman, Noah Chase
    • Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Psychology and Neuroscience
  • Research investigating the origin of cognitive biases in OCD has demonstrated, through self-report measures, that higher levels of religiosity are positively correlated with thought action fusion (TAF). The current study examines the relationship between religiosity and TAF using a behavioral paradigm, in which participants are asked to imagine a loved one experiencing a positive or negative event. Seventy-three undergraduates (43 Highly Religious Christians, 30 Atheists/Agnostics) were included. Highly religious Christians were found to believe that thinking about and writing a negative event increased the degree of likelihood, responsibility, and moral wrongness of the event, in relation to Atheists/Agnostics. No religious group differences were found for the positive events. These results suggest that higher degrees of religiosity may act as a vulnerability factor in the misinterpretation of one's thoughts as overly important, significant, or threatening, contributing to the possible development of an obsession. Limitations, future directions, and implications for understanding OCD are discussed.
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  • Abramowitz, Jonathan
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  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • Open access

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