Are hoarding symptoms associated with interpersonally relevant attentional biases? A preliminary investigation

Kimberly A. Arditte Hall, Caitlin A. Stamatis, Ashley M. Shaw, Kiara R Timpano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


According to cognitive-behavioral models of hoarding disorder, positive and negative emotional processing biases may contribute to the core symptoms of clutter, acquiring, and difficulty discarding. In disorders commonly comorbid with hoarding (e.g., depression; anxiety), studies have revealed specific patterns of attentional biases that relate to central symptoms. However, links between hoarding symptoms and biased attention, particularly involving interpersonal content, remain empirically untested. In the present study, we aimed to conduct the first investigation of hoarding symptoms and attentional biases. A sample of 57 young adults viewed images of positive and negative facial expressions paired with neutral facial expressions. During stimulus presentation eye tracking data captured four measures of early-stage and late-stage attentional biases toward emotional stimuli. Hoarding symptoms were measured dimensionally using the Saving Inventory-Revised. Results yielded an association between early orientation toward negative stimuli and severity of acquiring symptoms. Conversely, difficulty discarding/saving was associated with multiple measures of late-stage positive attentional biases. Findings reinforce the importance of examining both positive and negative emotional systems in relation to specific hoarding symptom clusters, even at the basic information processing level.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number100449
JournalJournal of Obsessive-Compulsive and Related Disorders
StatePublished - Jul 1 2019


  • Acquiring
  • Attention
  • Eye tracking
  • Hoarding disorder
  • Information processing biases
  • Saving

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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