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Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


College of Psychology

First Advisor

David Reitman

Second Advisor

Jed Siev

Third Advisor

Edward Simco


Hoarding, Moral Reasoning, Scrupulosity


Hoarding and scrupulous OCD are part of the Obsessive-Compulsive and Related Disorders, which are characterized by obsessional preoccupation and ritualistic behavior. Prior research has found a statistical relationship between hoarding and scrupulosity after controlling for these common factors, suggesting the existence of other features shared by these two disorders. Clinical accounts and empirical research of hoarding and scrupulosity suggest three such shared factors: a tendency to experience intense guilt and shame, rigid moralistic thinking, and general cognitive rigidity. However, results of the current study show that, although both hoarding and scrupulosity were related to cognitive rigidity and a tendency to experience guilt and shame, they are not associated with rigid moralistic thinking. Instead, beliefs about the importance of emotions as moral guides were related to both disorders. These results are interpreted in terms of dual-process theories of moral reasoning. Additionally, implications for the conceptualization and treatment of hoarding and scrupulosity are discussed.

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