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Obsessive-compulsive personality disorder (OCPD) is a high-prevalence personality disorder characterized by subtle but stable interpersonal dysfunction. There have been only limited studies addressing the behavioral patterns and cognitive features of OCPD in interpersonal contexts. The purpose of this study was to investigate how behaviors differ between OCPD individuals and healthy controls (HCs) in the context of guilt-related interpersonal responses.
A total of 113 participants were recruited, including 46 who were identified as having OCPD and 67 HCs. Guilt-related interpersonal responses were manipulated and measured with two social interactive tasks: the Guilt Aversion Task, to assess how anticipatory guilt motivates cooperation; and the Guilt Compensation Task, to assess how experienced guilt induces compensation behaviors. The guilt aversion model and Fehr–Schmidt inequity aversion model were adopted to analyze decision-making in the Guilt Aversion Task and the Guilt Compensation Task, respectively.
Computational model-based results demonstrated that, compared with HCs, the OCPD group exhibited less guilt aversion when making cooperative decisions as well as less guilt-induced compensation after harming others.
Our findings indicate that individuals with OCPD tend to be less affected by guilt than HCs. These impairments in guilt-related responses may prevent adjustments in behaviors toward compliance with social norms and thus result in interpersonal dysfunctions.
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