Thought Action Fusion Scale-Revised (TAFS-R)
The TAFS-R is a 19-item self-report measure of the tendency known as “thoughts-actions fusion”(TAF) which is important to OCD. The distorted thought at the heart of thought-action fusion is the irrational assumption that just because a “bad” thought presents itself to your
mind, then it is undeniably followed or accompanied by a specific “bad” action. In other words, thinking something makes it so. This measure is useful in tracking the cognitive components of OCD over time.
The scale is suitable for adults and measures three domains of thought-action fusion;
TAF-Moral – The belief that having an unacceptable thought is the moral equivalent of carrying out the morally unacceptable or disturbing action.
TAF-Likelihood Other – The belief that thinking an unacceptable thought about another person increases the likelihood of that thing happening to them.
TAF-Likelihood Self – The belief that thinking an unacceptable thought about ourselves makes it more likely to occur.
TAFS-R has been validated in student (Lee, Cougle, & Telch, 2005), community and clinical samples (Shafran, Thordarson, & Rachman, 1996).. Student (n = 122) and community samples (n = 272) supported a 3-factor solution consistent with the three subscales (Shafran, Thordarson, & Rachman, 1996). All three subscales have demonstrated acceptable reliability, with Cronbach’s alphas from 0.85 to 0.96 (Shafran et al., 1996).
However a clinical sample of adults with anxiety and mood disorders (n = 700), n=110 of which were diagnosed with OCD according to DSM-IV criteria (Meyer & Brown, 2013) supported the 2-factor structure (TAF-M and TAF-L).
Raw scores and percentiles for the three subscales are given as output, with higher scores indicating a stronger tendency toward though-action-fusion like cognitions. For each subscale, percentiles based on a student and clinical sample are computed using Safron et al., (1996) original validation samples. A percentile of 50 for the OCD clinical sample represents the average amount of TAF thoughts that a person with OCD experiences, while a percentile of 50 on the student sample indicates the average TAF thoughts that a relatively healthy individual experiences. Percentiles are not computes for the total score.
The three subscales are as follows:
TAF-Moral – The belief that having an unacceptable thought is the moral equivalent of carrying out the unacceptable or disturbing action. Sum items: 1, 3, 4, 6, 8, 10, 11, 13, 15, 17, 18, 19
TAF-Likelihood Other – The belief that thinking an unacceptable thought about another person increases the likelihood of that thing happening. Sum items: 2, 5, 7, 9
TAF-Likelihood Self – the belief that thinking an unacceptable thought about ourselves makes it more likely to occur. Sum items: 12, 14, 16.
Shafran, R., Thordarson, D. S., & Rachman, S. (1996). Thought–action fusion in obsessive compulsive disorder. Journal of Anxiety Disorders, 10, 379–391.
Lee, H., Cougle, J. R., & Telch, M. J. (2005). Thought–action fusion and its relationship to schizotypy and OCD symptoms. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 43(1), 29-41. doi:10.1016/j.brat.2003.11.002
Meyer, J. F., & Brown, T. A. (2013). Psychometric evaluation of the Thought–Action fusion scale in a large clinical sample. Assessment, 20(6), 764-775. doi:10.1177/1073191112436670
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