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Title: The role of mental imagery in paranoia
Author: Bullock, Gemma M.
ISNI:       0000 0004 5347 3936
Awarding Body: University of Southampton
Current Institution: University of Southampton
Date of Award: 2014
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The literature review discusses the relationship between paranoia and social anxiety in clinical and non-clinical populations. Much of the literature points to a correlation between social anxiety and paranoia , with many cognitive and affective processes implicated in both presentations. Research has identified anxiety, depression, core beliefs and assumptions, mental imagery, and social behaviour to be similarly associated with social anxiety and paranoia. This supports a cognitive model of persecutory delusions in which many of the cognitive and behavioural processes implicated in the maintenance of anxiety disorders are also likely to be relevant to the maintenance of paranoia. Research to date however, is limited by a reliance on cross-sectional design and methodological differences across studies which make it difficult to extrapolate findings. Overall the findings support a view that paranoia and social anxiety are distinct and related presentations, characterised by similar psychological processes. The empirical study aimed to explore the role of negative and positive imagery in individuals with high levels of non- clinical paranoia. A mixed design with one between-subjects variable (type of self-imagery) and one within-subjects variable (time pre and post the imagery manipulation design) was used. Thirty students with high levels of non-clinical paranoia participated in the study. Participants were allocated alternately to a positive or negative self-image condition. Image scripts were used to elicit the positive and negative imagery. All participants completed measures of paranoia, anxiety, self-esteem, mood and self-compassion. Results demonstrated that paranoia-related negative imagery increased paranoia, negative mood, and decreased self-esteem, self-compassion and positive affect. Conversely, positive imagery led to reductions in paranoia, negative mood, anxiety and increases in positive affect, self-esteem and self-compassion. Clinical and theoretical implications in relation to the findings are discussed.
Supervisor: Stopa, Lusia ; Newman Taylor, Katherine Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: BF Psychology