Published online by Cambridge University Press: 29 May 2015
Impaired action processing may be a key feature of the obsessive-compulsive checking phenomenon, although the mechanism underlying the impairment remains to be explored. We examined the ability to parse a continuous flow of movements and perceptual changes into meaningful segments of action — a key component of action processing — in checking proneness. Participants (N = 65) completed a measure of obsessive-compulsive symptoms and, while viewing four videotaped movies, were requested to detect the transitions between significant action steps. The main result indicated that Checking — but not the other obsessive-compulsive dimensions — was negatively related, with the size of meaningful units identified. These findings suggest that checking proneness may be specifically connected with difficulties in processing actions on the basis of abstract features such as goal-related information. This could explain why people with checking symptoms find it more difficult to determine whether an intended goal has actually been achieved.