Document Detail

Externalizing and personalizing biases in persecutory delusions: the relationship with poor insight and theory-of-mind.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  16038873     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
The presence of externalizing bias (EB) for negative events together with personalizing bias (PB) (a bias to blame others rather than circumstances) may jointly constitute a vulnerability to develop persecutory delusions (PDs). Whereas EB purportedly serves to defend a vulnerable self-concept by avoiding negative self-attributions and might therefore exacerbate poor insight, PB may reflect cognitive deficits, including theory-of-mind impairment. We investigated these proposals in 34 schizophrenic patients with a history of PDs and 21 healthy controls. Patients with moderate- to severe-PDs and patients without a current PD showed excessive EB which was, surprisingly, absent in patients with mild persecutory delusions (mild-PDs). That EB might wax and wane with fluctuating delusional intensity was interpreted in accord with a new dynamic model of attribution self-representation cycles. As predicted, EB exacerbated poor insight. However, counter to predictions, theory-of-mind impairment did not increase PB, which was marked in all participants, whether clinical or non-clinical; instead, theory-of-mind impairment was also correlated with poor insight. Our findings indicate multiple pathways to poor insight, one of which is a theory-of-mind difficulty, impairing the capacity to simulate other perspectives for the purpose of critically evaluating one's own beliefs and circumstances.
Robyn Langdon; Tonia Corner; Jen McLaren; Philip B Ward; Max Coltheart
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't     Date:  2005-07-21
Journal Detail:
Title:  Behaviour research and therapy     Volume:  44     ISSN:  0005-7967     ISO Abbreviation:  Behav Res Ther     Publication Date:  2006 May 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2006-03-20     Completed Date:  2007-01-18     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0372477     Medline TA:  Behav Res Ther     Country:  England    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  699-713     Citation Subset:  IM    
Macquarie Centre for Cognitive Science, Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia.
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MeSH Terms
Analysis of Variance
Delusions / psychology*
Internal-External Control*
Middle Aged
Paranoid Disorders / psychology
Psychological Theory
Schizophrenic Psychology*
Self Concept

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