Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: Factors that predict and attenuate paranoid-like cognitions in a student sample
Author: Kingston, Jessica Louise
ISNI:       0000 0004 2749 8881
Awarding Body: University of London
Current Institution: University of London
Date of Award: 2012
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Paranoid-like cognitions are common in the general population and can be triggered by heightened self-awareness plus failure feedback. One interpretation of this effect, based on clinical models of paranoia, is that these conditions pose a threat to one's self- . esteem, which in turn triggers paranoid-like cognitions. Cross-sectionally, this study assessed: (a) the construct validity (convergent validity: trait paranoia and public self- consciousness; discriminant validity: social anxiety) of the paranoia-induction procedures (heightened self-awareness plus failure feedback) and (b) the mechanisms involved in triggering paranoid-like cognitions under these conditions. Experimentally, this study also assessed ( c) whether affirming a valued domain attenuates paranoid -like cognitions. Using a mixed experimental design, university students (N=58) were randomised to a self-affirmation or non-affirmation control condition before exposure to the paranoia- induction task. State paranoia, self-esteem, mood and self-awareness were measured at baseline, post-affirmation, and after the paranoia-induction task. Trait paranoia, public self-consciousness and social anxiety were measured at baseline. Contrary to prediction, all trait variables were unrelated to changes in state paranoia during the paranoia-induction task. However, cross-sectional analyses of changes in state measures during the paranoia-induction task were consistent with prediction: the paranoia-induction task affected an increase in public self-awareness, which was associated with a reduction in self-esteem. Reductions in self-esteem were associated with higher levels of state paranoia following the paranoia-induction task. Affirming a 3 valued domain reduced state paranoia, but did not affect a change in reactivity to the paranoia-induction task. In conclusion, paranoid-like cognitions did increase during the paranoia-induction task (Ellett & Chadwick, 2007); however, the extent to which these experiences are reminiscent of naturally occurring paranoia remains to be established. Cross-sectional analyses suggested that reductions in self-esteem are associated with state paranoia following the task, but the direction of causation cannot be determined. Self-affirmation did reduce paranoid-like cognitions, but did not alter reactivity to the paranoia-induction task.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available