Wu, Kevin D.
Ph.D. (Doctor of Philosophy)
Department of Psychology
This dissertation examines the construct of incompleteness as it relates to both Obsessive-
Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Incompleteness is a
construct which was developed to describe symptoms of OCD which are not accounted for using
a traditional, harm-avoidance and fear-based conceptualization. Unlike harm-avoidance based
OCD, in which an individual engages in compulsions to prevent some feared outcome,
individuals with incompleteness-based OCD engage in compulsions to resolve an internal feeling
that their experience is uneven, asymmetrical, incomplete, or not-just-right.
Recently, researchers have begun to examine feelings of incompleteness in the context of
other disorders, such as ASD. This dissertation expands upon that literature, and aimed to
investigate whether incompleteness may be one construct which links OCD and ASD, which
demonstrate comorbidity in clinical populations. Additionally, this dissertation project aimed to
generate behavioral tasks which could be used to model various symptoms of OCD and ASD in
the laboratory; namely, through the development of novel computerized Approach-Avoidance
Tasks (AATs). Study limitations are considered in detail. Implications for the study of
incompleteness in OCD and ASD are also considered.
Lee, Sarah R., "Feelings of incompleteness as Linking Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder and Autism Spectrum Disorder: An Examination Using a Computerized Approach-Avoidance Task" (2020). Graduate Research Theses & Dissertations. 7288.
Northern Illinois University
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