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Schizophr Res. 2011 Dec;133(1-3):199-204. doi: 10.1016/j.schres.2011.08.008. Epub 2011 Sep 9.

Jumping to conclusions in psychosis: a faulty appraisal.

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Developmental Neuropsychiatry Research Unit, Servicio de Psiquiatría, Hospital Virgen del Rocio de Sevilla, Sevilla, Spain.


Schizophrenia patients, particularly those with current delusions, show a cognitive bias known as jumping to conclusions, defined as a decision made quickly on the basis of little evidence. The aim of this work was to examine the underlying mechanisms of this cognitive bias by means of the Picture To Decision Task, which allows one to analyse the effect of the context on decisions made. We compared the performance of this task by 42 psychotic patients, 21 siblings of these patients and 77 controls. The results of the current study suggest that, relative to siblings and controls, patients display a general tendency to jump to conclusions, characterised by overestimating the conviction in their choices at the beginning of the decision process and by a lowered threshold for making decisions in ambiguous contexts, where a greater amount of information is required. These results are interpreted in terms of faulty appraisal, which would be the first mechanism responsible for the Jumping To Conclusions bias. Theoretical and clinical implications are discussed.

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