Doubt and fear of self in bulimia nervosa

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Objective Several overlapping cognitive processes have been identified in eating disorders (EDs) and obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). Drawing from the OCD literature, the present study examined whether bulimia nervosa (BN) is associated with a maladaptive inductive reasoning style characterized by the over-investment in possibility-based (as opposed to reality-based) information. Method Women with BN (n = 25) and healthy controls (HC; n = 24) completed the Inference Processes Task (IPT), an ecological inductive reasoning task previously validated in OCD samples. Participants also completed the Fear of Self Questionnaire (FSQ) that evaluates investment in a feared possible identity. Results Significant differences on the IPT indicate that the BN group was more influenced by possibility-based information throughout the task than the HC group F(5.44, 255.78)?=?6.94, p?>?.001. It was also found that the BN group scored significantly higher on the FSQ than the HC group t(29.98)?=?8.4, p?>?.001, replicating previous findings. Finally, scores on the IPT were significantly correlated with measures of symptom severity. Discussion These findings suggest that BN may be associated with maladaptive inductive reasoning processes characterized by over-investment in possibility-based feared outcomes and identities.

AuthorWilson, Samantha; Aardema, Frederick; O'Connor, Kieron
JournalInternational Journal of Eating Disorders

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