Three related, exploratory studies were carried out in order to ascertain the occurrence and nature of normal obsessions, and to relate them to abnormal obsessions. Broadly, the findings were that normal obsessions are a common experience and they resemble the form of abnormal obsessions. They also show some notable similarities of content. However normal and abnormal obsessions differ in several respects, including frequency, duration, intensity and consequences, among others. With repeated practice, the frequency, duration and discomfort of obsessions are observed to decrease. Overall, the findings are considered to be consistent with the noxious stimulus cum habituation theory.
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