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Title: A paradigm for the study of paranoia in the nonclinical population: prisoners' dilemma game
Author: Stevens , Adele
Awarding Body: University of London
Current Institution: University of London
Date of Award: 2011
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A growing body of research shows that paranoia is common in the general population. This thesis reports two studies that examined the Prisoner's Dilemma Game (PDG) as a paradigm for evaluation of nonclinical paranoia. The PDG is a well-validated paradigm, used widely in social psychological research but only used in one study to date to examine paranoia. The PDG captures three key qualities that are at the heart of paranoia - it is interpersonal, it concerns threat, and it concerns perception of others' intentions towards the self. The aim of Study 1 was to investigate whether the PDG captures the interpersonal nature of paranoia specifically. Study 1 found that higher state paranoia was significantly associated with selection of the competitive PDG choice in a nonclinical population (n=110). Crucially, state paranoia was only significantly associated with competitive PDG choice when participants believed that they were playing the PDG against another person, and not when playing against a computer, confirming the interpersonal nature of the association. The aim of Study 2 was to investigate if fear, which is " relevant to paranoia, motivated the choice to compete on the PDG in those experiencing elevated levels of paranoia. In Study 2, we used a self-report questionnaire to assess fear and greed, in addition to state paranoia in a nonclinical population (n=149). Higher state paranoia was associated with competition on the PDG based on fear (but not with competition based on greed). It was concluded that the PDG paradigm does capture the essential interpersonal nature of paranoia and is a useful methodology for studying nonclinical paranoia. 3
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available