Effects of clutter on information processing deficits in individuals with hoarding disorder

Amanda M. Raines, Kiara R. Timpano, Norman B. Schmidt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Background Current cognitive behavioral models of hoarding view hoarding as a multifaceted problem stemming from various information processing deficits. However, there is also reason to suspect that the consequences of hoarding may in turn impact or modulate deficits in information processing. The current study sought to expand upon the existing literature by manipulating clutter to examine whether the presence of a cluttered environment affects information processing. Methods Participants included 34 individuals with hoarding disorder. Participants were randomized into a clutter or non-clutter condition and asked to complete various neuropsychological tasks of memory and attention. Results Results revealed that hoarding severity was associated with difficulties in sustained attention. However, individuals in the clutter condition relative to the non-clutter condition did not experience greater deficits in information processing. Limitations Limitations include the cross-sectional design and small sample size. Conclusions The current findings add considerably to a growing body of literature on the relationships between information processing deficits and hoarding behaviors. Research of this type is integral to understanding the etiology and maintenance of hoarding.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)30-35
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of affective disorders
StatePublished - Sep 2014


  • Attention
  • Clutter
  • Hoarding
  • Information processing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Medicine(all)


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