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A transdiagnostic investigation of ‘theory of mind’ and ‘jumping to conclusions’ in patients with persecutory delusions

Corcoran, R.; Rowse, G.; Moore, R.; Blackwood, N.; Kinderman, P.; Howard, R.; Cummins, S. and Bentall, R.P. (2008) A transdiagnostic investigation of ‘theory of mind’ and ‘jumping to conclusions’ in patients with persecutory delusions. Psychological Medicine, 38 . pp. 1577-1583. ISSN 1469-8978 (Online); 0033-2917 (Print)

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Abstract

Background. A tendency to make hasty decisions on probabilistic reasoning tasks and a difficulty attributing mental states to others are key cognitive features of persecutory delusions (PDs) in the context of schizophrenia. This study examines whether these same psychological anomalies characterize PDs when they present in the context of psychotic depression. Method. Performance on measures of probabilistic reasoning and theory of mind (ToM) was examined in five subgroups differing in diagnostic category and current illness status. Results. The tendency to draw hasty decisions in probabilistic settings and poor ToM tested using story format feature in PDs irrespective of diagnosis. Furthermore, performance on the ToM story task correlated with the degree of distress caused by and preoccupation with the current PDs in the currently deluded groups. By contrast, performance on the non-verbal ToM task appears to be more sensitive to diagnosis, as patients with schizophrenia spectrum disorders perform worse on this task than those with depression irrespective of the presence of PDs. Conclusions. The psychological anomalies associated with PDs examined here are transdiagnostic but different measures of ToM may be more or less sensitive to indices of severity of the PDs, diagnosis and trait- or state-related cognitive effects.

Item Type:Article
Additional Information:Additional citation information : Issue 11, November 2008. Published online by Cambridge University Press 16 November 2007. Cite as: R. Corcoran, G. Rowse, R. Moore, N. Blackwood, P. Kinderman, R. Howard, S. Cummins and R. P. Bentall (2008). A transdiagnostic investigation of ‘theory of mind’ and ‘jumping to conclusions’ in patients with persecutory delusions. Psychological Medicine, 38 , pp 1577-1583 doi:10.1017/S0033291707002152
Uncontrolled Keywords:INFERENCE TASK; SCHIZOPHRENIA; PSYCHOSIS; paranoia; psychology; transdiagnostic
Subjects:R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Departments, Research Centres and Related Units:Academic Faculties, Institutes and Research Centres > Faculty of Medicine > School of Population, Community & Behavioural Sciences
DOI:10.1017/S0033291707002152
Publisher's Statement:© 2007 Cambridge University Press
Refereed:Yes
Status:Published
ID Code:1056
Deposited On:11 Oct 2010 14:57
Last Modified:25 Apr 2012 15:43

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