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Cogn Neuropsychiatry. 2009 Jan;14(1):30-52. doi: 10.1080/13546800902732970.

Perceptions of hostility by persons with and without persecutory delusions.

Author information

1
Department of Psychology, University of Texas at Tyler, Tyler, TX 75799, USA. DCombs@uttyler.edu

Abstract

INTRODUCTION:

Current models of paranoia propose that ambiguous situations, in which cues regarding the intentions of others are lacking, may be perceived as hostile by persons with persecutory delusions (PD). Thus, a social-cognitive bias for the perception of hostility may be present. In this study, the Ambiguous Intentions Hostility Questionnaire (AIHQ) was used to present situations that are ambiguous regarding the intentions of others. It was predicted that on the AIHQ, persons with PD would show greater levels of perceived hostility, blame, and aggression than both psychiatric and nonpsychiatric controls.

METHODS:

The sample comprised 32 persons with PD, 28 persons without PD (psychiatric controls), and 50 healthy participants (nonpsychiatric controls). Participants completed the AIHQ along with measures of paranoia, attributional style, depression, anxiety, self-esteem, and public self-consciousness.

RESULTS:

As predicted, the group with PD showed greater perceptions of hostility, blame, and aggression scores for ambiguous situations on the AIHQ. Also, the AIHQ Hostility bias score was predictive of paranoid ideation.

CONCLUSIONS:

Persons with PD showed a social-cognitive bias for perceiving hostility in ambiguous situations. The bias appears to be specific as it was not found in the psychiatric or nonpsychiatric control groups. Suggestions for future research are discussed.

PMID:
19214841
DOI:
10.1080/13546800902732970
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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