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J Abnorm Psychol. 2011 Aug;120(3):691-9. doi: 10.1037/a0022856.

Implicit and explicit self-esteem discrepancies in paranoia and depression.

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Department of Clinical Psychology, School of Psychology, Complutense University, Campus de Somosaguas, 28223 Madrid, Spain.


The main purpose of the present study was to examine implicit and explicit self-esteem (SE) in patients with persecutory delusions. In samples of paranoid patients, depressed patients, and healthy controls, implicit SE was assessed using the experimental go/no-go association task, whereas explicit SE was measured using 2 self-reporting questionnaires: the self-worth subscale of the World Assumption Scale (Janoff-Bulman, 1989) and the self-acceptance subscale of the Scales of Psychological Well-Being (Ryff & Keyes, 1995). Our analysis revealed that depressed patients showed lower explicit SE than did paranoid and healthy control participants. However, participants with persecutory delusions had significantly lower implicit SE scores than did healthy controls. We interpret the discrepancies observed between overt and covert measures in the paranoid group as psychological defense mechanisms. The present study stresses the clinical and theoretical importance of the use of implicit measures in psychopathology.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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