Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science



First Advisor

Lee, Eric


Intrusive thoughts are aversive, private thoughts that are unwanted but intrude into consciousness, and are a ubiquitous phenomenon that approximately 93% of the population experiences (Radomsky et. al., 2014). Obsessional thoughts are a key etiological component of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). Cognitive behavioral models of OCD conceptualize intrusive thoughts and obsessive thoughts as the same phenomenon occurring on a spectrum, with obsessional thoughts being a particular type of intrusion that is integral to the development and maintenance of OCD (Moulding, 2014). However, there is little evidence to demonstrate this relationship. This study examined intrusive thoughts across stratified groups based on intrusion frequency using ecological momentary assessment. This exploratory study examined potential idiographic differences in reported experiences of people ranging from low to high levels of intrusive thought frequency. Personalized contemporaneous networks were constructed from participant data and examined for differences in topography, measures of centrality, and magnitude of relationships between nodes. These networks are visually distinct, providing a glimpse into a wide variety of ways in which participants experience and relate to their intrusive thoughts.




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