The psychology of persecutory ideation I: A questionnaire survey

Daniel Freeman, Graham Dunn, Philippa A. Garety, Paul Bebbington, Mel Slater, Elizabeth Kuipers, David Fowler, Catherine Green, Joel Jordan, Katarzyna Ray

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61 Citations (Scopus)


Paranoia is a complex phenomenon that is likely to arise from a number of factors. In a recent cognitive model of persecutory delusions, three key factors are highlighted: anomalous experiences, emotion, and reasoning. In the first of two linked studies, we report a questionnaire survey of nonclinical paranoia designed to assess the theoretical model. A nonclinical population (N = 327) completed measures of paranoia, anomalous experiences (hallucinatory predisposition, perceptual anomalies), emotion (depression, anxiety, self-focus, stress, interpersonal sensitivity), and reasoning (need for closure). Paranoia was best explained by separation anxiety, depression, fragile inner self, hallucinatory experiences, discomfort with ambiguity, stress, self-focus, perceptual anomalies, and anxiety. The findings are consistent with the central predictions within the model of paranoia.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)302-308
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Nervous and Mental Disease
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2005

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