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'Jumping to conclusions' and attributional style in persecutory delusions

Merrin, Jayne; Kinderman, Peter and Bentall, Richard P. (2007) 'Jumping to conclusions' and attributional style in persecutory delusions. Cognitive Therapy and Research, 31 (6). pp. 741-758. ISSN 1573-2819 (Online) ;0147-5916 (Print)

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Persecutory delusions have been associated with a tendency to ‘jump to conclusions’ and an abnormal attributional style. We hypothesised that jumping to conclusions could account for the observed biases in attributional style. Individuals with persecutory delusions (n=24) were compared with matched depressed psychiatric (n=24) and non-psychiatric (n=24) comparison groups using a modified inductive reasoning task (John & Dodgson, 1994) on which participants requested information before making attributions for common social events. Both clinical groups ‘jumped to conclusions’ and made attributions on the basis of little evidence. This tendency was greatest in individuals with persecutory delusions. Differences were also found in the proportions of questions seeking internal, external and situational information. However, there were no significant differences between the groups in the final attributions made. These findings inform a model of persecutory delusions whereby a limited cognitive search strategy may influence attributional style.

Item Type:Article
Additional Information:Available online 21 March 2007. Issue date: December 2007.
Uncontrolled Keywords:SITUATIONAL ATTRIBUTIONS; PSYCHOLOGICAL THEORIES; DEPRESSION; paranoia; persecutory delusions; jumping to conclusions; causal attributions
Subjects:R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0321 Neuroscience. Biological psychiatry. Neuropsychiatry
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
Publisher's Statement:This article was first published in Jayne Merrin, Peter Kinderman and Richard P. Bentall, 2007, 'Jumping to conclusions' and attributional style in persecutory delusions, Cognitive Therapy and Research vol 31,(6), pp 741-758.The original publication is available at © Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007
ID Code:1110
Deposited On:25 Mar 2009 14:46
Last Modified:19 May 2011 18:45

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