Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is an anxiety disorder where a person has unwanted and intrusive thoughts and urges, and feels compelled to engage in repetitive behaviours and mental acts to temporarily relieve the anxiety that these trigger. OCD can occur in non-autistic people (2% of the population), but is more common in autistic people (17%). It is not known why this is the case.
This study aims to understand preferences for order and symmetry in the general population, in autistic individuals, and in those diagnosed with OCD. The hypothesis is that both autistic individuals and people with OCD might show a greater preference for specific order and symmetric arrangements than the general population. To measure this, participants are invited to play two computer games, the Grid Task and the Ferry Task. These games provide an engaging way of collecting data from participants on their preferences for order and symmetry.
This study will deepen our understanding of both autism and OCD. It may also help explain why OCD is more common in autistic people than in the general population.