Desire thinking is a voluntary cognitive process involving verbal and imaginal elaboration of a desired target. Recent research has highlighted the role of desire thinking in the maintenance of addictive, eating and impulse control disorders. The goal of this research project was to develop the first self-report measure of desire thinking. In Study 1 we constructed the Desire Thinking Questionnaire (DTQ) and conducted a preliminary factor analysis which identified two factors. The first factor concerned the perseveration of verbal thoughts about desire-related content and experience and was named 'Verbal Perseveration'. The second factor concerned the tendency to prefigure images about desire-related content and experience and was named 'Imaginal Prefiguration'. In Study 2 we performed a confirmatory factor analysis which provided support for this two factor solution, with both factors achieving adequate internal consistency. Divergent validity was also established through correlation analyses. In Study 3 the temporal stability of the DTQ was examined and confirmed. Finally, in Study 4, the predictive validity of the DTQ in a sample of alcohol abusers was investigated. The DTQ was shown to possess good psychometric properties, as well as divergent and predictive validity. This self-report measure may aid future research into desire thinking and craving, as well as facilitate assessment and case formulation within the context of addictive, eating and impulse control disorders.
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