Myth Debunked that OCD Is Associated With Superior Intelligence

September 18, 2017

NEW YORK...September 18, 2017 - Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is not associated with a higher intelligence quotient (IQ), a myth popularized by Sigmund Freud, according to researchers at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU), Texas State University and University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

The study, published in the Neuropsychology Review, is believed to be the first analysis of existing data on the link between IQ and OCD sufferers verses the general population. The authors tracked the origins of the myth to the French philosopher, physician and psychologist Pierre Janet in 1903, but it was Freud, the father of psychoanalysis, who popularized the hypothesis in 1909.

"Although this myth was never studied empirically until now, it is still a widely held belief among mental-health professionals, OCD sufferers and the general public," says Dr. Gideon Anholt, a senior lecturer in BGU's Department of Psychology.

The researchers conducted a meta-analysis of all the available literature on IQ in OCD samples versus non-psychiatric controls (98 studies), and found that contrary to the prevailing myth, OCD is not associated with superior IQ, but with normative IQ that is slightly lower compared to control samples. The authors suggested that the small reduction in IQ scores in OCD sufferers may be largely attributed to OCD-related slowness and not to intellectual ability.

The popular misconception about OCD has been further promoted by TV programs like "Monk," which show an individual with OCD using his superior intelligence to solve challenging mysteries. Yet, such beliefs about OCD may facilitate the misconception that there are advantages associated with the disorder, potentially decreasing one's motivation to seek professional help.

"Future IQ assessments of individuals with OCD should focus on verbal and not performance IQ - a score heavily influenced by slowness," the researchers say.

The research team also included Dr. Amitai Abromovich, Texas State University; Sagi Raveh-Gottfried, psychology department, BGU; Dr. Jonathan S. Abramowitz, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; and Naama Hamo, Ruppin Academic Center, Israel.
-end-
About American Associates, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev

American Associates, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (AABGU) plays a vital role in sustaining David Ben-Gurion's vision: creating a world-class institution of education and research in the Israeli desert, nurturing the Negev community and sharing the University's expertise locally and around the globe. As Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) looks ahead to turning 50 in 2020, AABGU imagines a future that goes beyond the walls of academia. It is a future where BGU invents a new world and inspires a vision for a stronger Israel and its next generation of leaders. Together with supporters, AABGU will help the University foster excellence in teaching, research and outreach to the communities of the Negev for the next 50 years and beyond. Visit vision.aabgu.org to learn more.

AABGU, which is headquartered in Manhattan, has nine regional offices throughout the United States. For more information, visit http://www.aabgu.org.

American Associates, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev

Related Ocd Articles from Brightsurf:

COVID-19 triggers OCD in children and young people
Many children and young people with obsessive thoughts and compulsions experience that their OCD, anxiety and depressive symptoms worsen during a crisis such as COVID-19.

Cannabis reduces OCD symptoms by half in the short-term
People with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) report that the severity of symptoms was reduced by about half within four hours of smoking cannabis.

Cognitive behavioral therapy normalizes brain abnormality in OCD patients
UCLA scientists and colleagues studying the effects of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) discovered an abnormality in the brains of people with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) that may help to predict who is most likely to respond to CBT.

Which OCD treatment works best? New brain study could lead to more personalized choices
New research could improve the odds that people with obsessive-compulsive disorder will receive a therapy that really works for them - something that eludes more than a third of those who currently get OCD treatment.

Yale scientists propose explanation for baffling form of childhood OCD
Yale scientists may have found a cause for the sudden onset of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) in some children, they report.

Antibodies could provide new treatment for OCD
Mental health conditions such as obsessive compulsive disorder could be treated in a new way using drugs that target the immune system, research suggests.

An updated overview of the complex clinical spectrum of tourette syndrome
Background: Tourette syndrome is a common nerve development disorder which is characterized by a variety of muscle or vocal movements called 'tics', often involuntary.

Excellent long-term stability of treatment gains of stepwise treatment for pediatric OCD
A study in the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (JAACAP), published by Elsevier, reports that the long-term stability of treatment gains for children and adolescents diagnosed with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), participating in a stepwise manualized treatment, is excellent.

Contaminating a fake rubber hand could help people overcome OCD, study suggests
The famous, but bizarre, 'rubber hand illusion' could help people who suffer from obsessive compulsive disorder overcome their condition without the often unbearable stress of exposure therapy, suggests new research.

Standard treatment programmes for OCD are not always enough
Teenagers with the contamination and washing variant of OCD are not generally more ill than children and adolescents with other forms of disabling obsessive thoughts and compulsive behaviour.

Read More: Ocd News and Ocd Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.