To save or not to save: the use of cognitive bias modification in a high-hoarding sample

Jonathan David, Peter A. Baldwin, Jessica R. Grisham

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


The cognitive-behavioural model of hoarding posits that maladaptive beliefs play a causal role in saving behaviours. These beliefs may operate as interpretive biases to save in ambiguous situations in which hoarding individuals must decide whether to discard an item. We used a novel interpretative cognitive bias modification paradigm (CBM-I) to modify hoarding-related interpretive biases in a sample of undergraduates with high hoarding symptoms (N = 95). Participants were randomly allocated to either a positive CBM-I training condition, which was designed to reduce hoarding-related biases, or a neutral (control) CBM-I training condition. They completed self-report measures of hoarding symptoms and beliefs, and behavioural measures of discarding before and after training. Although there were no differences between conditions on post-training behavioural tasks, the positive condition reported reduced hoarding symptoms and beliefs one week after CBM-I training compared to the neutral condition. We review these findings in light of previous research and consider potential clinical implications.
Original languageEnglish
Article number100457
Pages (from-to)1-8
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Obsessive-Compulsive and Related Disorders
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • cognitive bias modification
  • interpretive bias
  • maladaptive beliefs
  • decision-making
  • hoarding disorder


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