ISSN 2043-8087
Journal of Experimental Psychopathology
 Volume 3, Issue 3, 437-454, 2012
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Did I Forget to Lock the Door? The Link between Prospective Memory Failures and Doubt in the Compulsion to Check

Authors
Carrie Cuttler, Ph.D., & Steven Taylor, Ph.D.
Department of Psychiatry, University of British Columbia

Volume 3, Issue 3, 2012, Pages 437-454
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5127/jep.021811

Abstract
Previous research has demonstrated links between prospective memory failures and checking compulsions. The findings suggest that experiences with prospective memory failures may contribute to the intrusive doubts that tasks were not completed that instigate checking compulsions. However, the link between prospective memory and intrusive doubts has yet to be empirically investigated. Accordingly, the present study focused on examining whether prospective memory failures are related to doubting, as well as whether doubting mediates the relationship between prospective memory and checking compulsions. Undergraduate students completed self-report measures of checking compulsions, doubting, prospective memory and retrospective memory. Participants also completed objective tests of prospective memory and retrospective memory. Prospective memory failures and excessive doubting showed consistent correlations. Two of three objective tests of prospective memory and one of two measures of confidence in performance on prospective memory tests showed significant correlations with checking. Tests of mediation showed that the links between checking compulsions, objective prospective memory test failures and confidence in prospective memory performance were mediated by doubting. The results thereby supported the hypothesis that experiences with prospective memory failures contribute to the intrusive doubts that instigate checking.

Table of Contents
Introduction
Method
 Participants
 Procedure and Instruments
  Prospective Memory Questionnaire (PMQ).
  Prospective and Retrospective Memory Questionnaire (PRMQ).
  Obsessive-Compulsive Doubting Scale (OCDS).
  Obsessive-Compulsive Inventory-Revised (OCI-R).
  Beck Depression Inventory II (BDI-II).
  Psychopathic Personality Inventory (PPI).
  Survey Prospective Memory Test.
  Reminder Prospective Memory Test.
  Field Prospective Memory Test.
  California Verbal Learning Test II (CVLT II).
  Rey-Osterrieth Complex Figure Test (ROCF).
  Source and Action Memory Tests.
Results
 Data Preparation
 Data Analysis
 Correlations Between Memory, Checking, Doubting and Washing
  Prospective Memory.
  Retrospective Memory.
  Washing Compulsions.
Discussion
Acknowledgments
References

Correspondence to
Carrie Cuttler, Ph.D., Department of Psychiatry, University of British Columbia, 2255 Wesbrook Mall, Vancouver, BC, Canada, V6T 2A1.

Keywords
Compulsive checking; doubting; prospective memory; retrospective memory; memory confidence

Dates
Received 27 Jul 2011; Revised 7 Dec 2011; Accepted 9 Dec 2011; In Press 1 Jul 2012







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