Who sees trees before forest? The obsessive-compulsive style of visual attention

Iftah Yovel*, William Revelle, Susan Mineka

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

88 Scopus citations


It has been suggested that individuals with obsessive-compulsive personalities tend to focus on small local details in their surroundings, whereas histrionic individuals are characterized by more global information processing. Using the global-local hierarchical-letters paradigm, we were able to provide support for the first but not the second hypothesis. Measures related to obsessive-compulsive personality disorder were associated with excessive visual attention to small details of the hierarchical letters. Specifically, the obsessive-compulsive cognitive style was associated with local interference, which reflects the effects of distraction by to-be-ignored small details on identification of global information.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)123-129
Number of pages7
JournalPsychological Science
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2005
Externally publishedYes


Dive into the research topics of 'Who sees trees before forest? The obsessive-compulsive style of visual attention'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this