Perceived responsibility: structure and significance.


Given the postulated significance of inflated responsibility in obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), there is a need for clarification of the concept itself and a means for measuring such responsibility. Two psychometric studies were conducted in order to develop a reliable self-report scale. In the first study 291 students completed the specially constructed Responsibility Appraisal Questionnaire (RAQ). Four factors emerged: responsibility for harm, responsibility in social contexts, a positive outlook towards responsibility, and thought-action fusion (TAF). In the second study, 234 students completed a revised RAQ. Four comparable factors emerged, and the TAF subscale correlated significantly with measures of obsessionality, guilt, and depression. The correlations between TAF and obsessionality and guilt remained significant even after BDI scores were controlled. It is concluded that the broad concept of inflated responsibility needs to be qualified; the connection between inflated responsibility and OCD appears to be situation-specific and idiosyncratic. There is more inflated responsibility than there is OCD. The measured concept of inflated responsibility is multifactorial (harm, social, positive, and TAF), not unitary. The TAF factor appears to be particularly significant in OCD.

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@article{Rachman1995PerceivedRS, title={Perceived responsibility: structure and significance.}, author={Stanley J Rachman and Dana S. Thordarson and Roz Shafran and Sheila R. Woody}, journal={Behaviour research and therapy}, year={1995}, volume={33 7}, pages={779-84} }