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Durham e-Theses
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Delusions, cognitive biases and emotional priming

Sueyoshi, Mika (1996) Delusions, cognitive biases and emotional priming. Masters thesis, Durham University.



Evidence has been accumulated to suggest that cognitive biases in reasoning and information processing would play an important role in the mechanism of delusions (Bentall, 1994; Garety & Hemsley, 1994). Bentall and his colleagues further argue that abnormal cognitive biases would reflect a defensive function in people with delusions; deluded individuals would have much in common with depressives and their defensive function may serve to protect themselves against underlying low self-esteem. Therefore, it was assumed that when the defensive function can be bypassed, deluded individuals would-be seen similar to depressives. The aim of the present research was to investigate the proposed defensive mechanism in deluded individuals and to assess a new potential methodology for the investigation of the defensive mechanism. It was suggested that the emotional priming paradigm would be a promising approach, and this was used in addition to a questionnaire-based approach. The results of the present research partly supported the hypothesis of the defensive mechanism in deluded patients. On an implicit questionnaire which is supposed to bypass the defensive function, the deluded subjects showed more internal attributions for negative events than did the normal subjects (Experiment 1). In the emotional priming task, the deluded subjects were slower to reject negative adjectives than the normal subjects (Experiment 2). However, the other results appeared to be unclear in their support for the hypothesis, thus further research should be required. The emotional priming paradigm was then carefully examined in a student population (Experiment 3). The results of this study indicated that the emotional priming paradigm was indeed a potential methodology, but also suggested that further refinements for clinical use are needed.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Award:Master of Arts
Thesis Date:1996
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:24 Oct 2012 15:08

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