Looking for Outcomes: The Experience of Control and Sense of Agency in Obsessive-compulsive Behaviors

  • Sanaâ Belayachi
  • Martial Van der Linden


Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is, as its name implies, characterized by obsessions (i.e., recurrent thoughts or images, particularly ones that cause distress) as well as compulsions (i.e., urges to perform mental or physical acts repeatedly), both of which significantly impair everyday functioning [1]. Obsessions are considered to be recurrent distressing impressions that something is wrong with an action or with a situation, such as an error or an imminent danger [2, 3, 4]. Compulsions are generally conceptualized as aiming to prevent feared harmful events and are thus associated with an increased sense of responsibility [5, 6]. However, they may also be motivated by particular sensory experiences concerning actions, such as feelings of incompleteness, that trigger the need to adjust them, rather than the avoidance of potential harm [7].


Effortful Control Harm Avoidance Check Symptom Inflated Responsibility Pulsive Disorder 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Italia 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sanaâ Belayachi
    • 1
  • Martial Van der Linden
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Cognitive ScienceUniversity of LiègeLiègeBelgium

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