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Title: Psychological processes in persecutory delusions
Author: Williams, Lisa Jane
ISNI:       0000 0004 2741 3673
Awarding Body: Bangor University
Current Institution: Bangor University
Date of Award: 2012
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Attributional models of persecutory delusions suggest that paranoia arises when people make excessively external attributions for negative events and excessively internal attributions for positive events (i.e. people blame negative events on other people or circumstances and attribute positive events to themselves). The results from a review of the literature on attributional style in people with persecutory delusions indicated that that the evidence for an externalising bias, and more specifically an externalising-personal bias, for negative events is inconsistent and the evidence for an internalising bias for positive events is minimal. More consistent findings were obtained for external- situational attributions; people with persecutory delusions make fewer attributions of this type for negative events compared with healthy controls. The evidence also tentatively suggests that the attributional style of people with persecutory delusions fluctuates momentarily and with the course of mental illness. These findings are discussed in relation to issues with the reliability of current measures of attributional style. Keywords: paranoid delusions, persecutory delusions, attributional style, explanatory style, review Highlights • The evidence for attributional biases in persecutory delusions is inconsistent. Paranoid people make few external-situational attributions for negative events. Attributional style might be unstable in people with persecutory delusions. • • ATTRIBUTIONAL STYLE AND PERSECUTORY DELUSIONS • The reliability of current measures of attributional style is poor. 3
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available