Investigating categorisation in Compulsive Hoarding Disorder: making it meaningful

Alice Kilvert, James Gregory

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractpeer-review


Compulsive Hoarding Disorder (CHD) is characterised by having a “persistent difficulty discarding or parting with possessions, regardless of the value others may attribute to these possessions” and is seen to have a detrimental effect on “emotional, physical, social, financial and even legal’ aspects of their life ‘(DSM-5; American Psychological Association, 2013). Amongst other important factors, Frost and Hartl (1996) proposed that hoarding arises from deficits in information processing and in particular deficiencies in categorization/organization, memory and decision making. The present study aimed to further our understanding of categorization through a replication and extension of previously conducted studies examining categorization (e.g. Grisham et al. 2010). Hoarding (n=30) and non-clinical (n=30) participants were asked to categorise personal and non-personal items using different sorting instructions and were asked about the decision making underpinning their category choices. Participants also completed standardized neuropsychological categorization tests from the DKEFS battery to test whether any categorization problems were specific to objects or to a general deficit. The findings and clinical implications of this study will be presented and discussed. It is hoped the study can further enhance our understanding of CHD, providing further evidence on the existence of information deficits or otherwise, and offer recommendations for future treatment approaches in this area.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 19 Jul 2018


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