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Title: The effect of brief mindful self-focus on state paranoia in a nonclinical sample
Author: Buchanan, Sarah
Awarding Body: University of London
Current Institution: University of London
Date of Award: 2012
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Paranoia is a common experience in the non-clinical population (e.g. Freeman et al., 2011) and is significantly associated with distress (e.g. Ellett et al., 2003). A number of experimental approaches have investigated the induction of state paranoia under controlled conditions (e.g. Bodner & Mikulincer, 1998; Ellett & Chadwick, 2007). There has been no investigation into ways of reducing state paranoia once induced, but mindfulness is one possibility. A number of studies have investigated the use of brief mindful self-focus (BMSF) in reducing negative affect following, or preceded by, negative mood induction (e.g. Broderick, 2005; Singer & Dobson, 2007). However, there has been no such experimental exploration of BMSF following paranoia induction. In the present study, a sample of university students first underwent a paranoia induction paradigm (Ellett & Chadwick, 2007) intended to increase state paranoia. Participants were then randomly allocated to one of two conditions: BMSF or Distraction. Both conditions required participants to listen to a brief audio recording. Participants completed trait measures, as well as a set of state measures across three time points (baseline, post paranoia induction, post BMSF/Distraction) to detect change. Findings indicated that participants became significantly more paranoid following the paranoia induction paradigm and that state paranoia was significantly associated with trait paranoia. There was a significant reduction in state paranoia and negative affect following both the BMSF and distraction conditions. State mindfulness did not significantly increase in the BMSF condition, although there was a trend with participants in the BMSF condition demonstrating a higher level of decentring than the distraction condition. BMSF might therefore be a suitable technique for reducing state paranoia in the non-clinical population. Future research could explore other possible mechanisms of change by which mindfulness may reduce state paranoia, and apply BM SF within other populations experiencing paranoia.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available