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Compulsion and the self in Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

School of Psychology and Sport Science

About the Project

Research Group: Centre for Mind and Behaviour

Proposed supervisory team: Dr Sharon Morein-Zamir (), Dr Emma Kaminskiy ()

Theme: Clinical and Wellbeing

We seek a PhD student to lead a mixed-methods project focusing on issues facing people with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). Those with OCD experience unwanted obsessive thoughts and are compelled to perform persistent and repetitive actions. There is increasing recognition that the lack of in-depth understanding of symptoms as they occur in everyday life, and their impact on the sense of self, is preventing development of better treatments. Another barrier to advancing understanding and treating OCD is insufficient interaction and integration between different research approaches, with considerable disparities between psychological, cognitive and neurobiological models.

This project will yield a systematic in-depth analysis of symptoms as they occur in everyday life and their resulting impact over the years on the sense of self. Qualitative data on experiencing OCD will be combined with attitudes, behaviours and personality characteristics to inform theorizing, treatment provision and outcomes. In-depth semi-structured interviews in multiple patient groups will explore the experience of living with OCD symptoms, and their impact on patient identity over time. Participants will also complete established questionnaires developed from disparate psychological approaches. The successful PhD student will also conduct a large online survey of diverse clinical and sub-clinical populations across the lifespan to assess replication of initial findings, and allow extensive quantitative analyses of convergence between research approaches. To discuss the project informally prior to application, please contact Dr Sharon Morein.

Where you’ll study: Cambridge

Funding: This project is self-funded.

Details of studentships for which funding is available are selected by a competitive process and are advertised on our jobs website as they become available.

Next steps: If you wish to be considered for this project, you will need to apply for our Psychology PhD. In the section of the application form entitled ’Outline research proposal’, please quote the above title and include a research proposal.

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