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Psychol Med. 2012 Jul;42(7):1507-14. doi: 10.1017/S0033291711002650. Epub 2011 Nov 25.

It's not what you hear, it's the way you think about it: appraisals as determinants of affect and behaviour in voice hearers.

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Department of Psychology, King's College London, Institute of Psychiatry, London, UK.



Previous studies have suggested that beliefs about voices mediate the relationship between actual voice experience and behavioural and affective response.


We investigated beliefs about voice power (omnipotence), voice intent (malevolence/benevolence) and emotional and behavioural response (resistance/engagement) using the Beliefs About Voices Questionnaire - Revised (BAVQ-R) in 46 voice hearers. Distress was assessed using a wide range of measures: voice-related distress, depression, anxiety, self-esteem and suicidal ideation. Voice topography was assessed using measures of voice severity, frequency and intensity. We predicted that beliefs about voices would show a stronger association with distress than voice topography.


Omnipotence had the strongest associations with all measures of distress included in the study whereas malevolence was related to resistance, and benevolence to engagement. As predicted, voice severity, frequency and intensity were not related to distress once beliefs were accounted for.


These results concur with previous findings that beliefs about voice power are key determinants of distress in voice hearers, and should be targeted specifically in psychological interventions.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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