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Title: Exploring mental imagery in persecutory delusions: An investigation into the experiences and characteristics of mental imagery in clinical and non-clinical populations
Author: St Just, Natalie
Awarding Body: University of Southampton
Current Institution: University of Southampton
Date of Award: 2012
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This thesis is aims to explore the role of mental imagery in psychosis. Mental imagery has been of clinical interest for over a century. Seminal studies by Holmes and colleagues identified that mental imagery had a powerful effect on emotion. This finding is important and has influenced further research particularly on anxiety and mental imagery. Limited but promising evidence has been found for the role of mental imagery in psychosis. It is proposed that the links between anxiety and psychosis enable the effects of mental imagery in anxiety to be applied to psychosis. To this end a review of anxiety literature on mental imagery is undertaken ill order to outline the main findings in this area and to consider how this would apply to cognitive models of psychosis. The empirical study investigates the experience of mental imagery in people with persecutory delusions compared to a student/community sample. Qualitative and quantitative data was collected to compare experiences of clinical and nonclinical populations and to explore some of the factors previously found 10 be present in mental imagery and psychosis. Hypotheses were also based on the findings of mental imagery in anxiety literature. The results showed significant differences between groups for belief conviction, type of emotion and image perspective. There were no significant differences in frequency, vividness and association with past memories. Qualitative themes were: describing the image, validity of the image and interpersonal implications. The findings are discussed and research and clinical implications are considered.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Clin.Psy.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available