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Behav Res Ther. 1994 Mar;32(3):331-41.

The self, attributional processes and abnormal beliefs: towards a model of persecutory delusions.

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Department of Clinical Psychology, University of Liverpool, England.


In this paper we review a series of recent investigations into cognitive abnormalities associated with persecutory delusions. Studies indicate that persecutory delusions are associated with abnormal attention to threat-related stimuli, an explanatory bias towards attributing negative outcomes to external causes and biases in information processing relating to the self-concept. We propose an integrative model to account for these findings in which it is hypothesized that, in deluded patients, activation of self/ideal discrepancies by threat-related information triggers defensive explanatory biases, which have the function of reducing the self/ideal discrepancies but result in persecutory ideation. We conclude by discussing the implications of this model for the cognitive-behavioural treatment of paranoid delusions.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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