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Title: Self-agency and psychosis : trauma, sense of agency and locus of control
Author: Peppiatt, A. J.
Awarding Body: University College London
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2013
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This thesis is presented in three parts, all of which focus broadly on the experience of agency in relation to psychosis or psychotic-like experiences. Part one, a systematic review of the literature, examines whether ‘sense of agency’, a subjective awareness of intentional actions, is altered in psychosis and evaluates the evidence for different models proposed to explain such alterations. The evidence suggests SoA is altered in psychosis in a number of ways and is associated with delusions of control and other psychotic phenomena. The research with non-clinical populations, however, is less clear. Several methodological limitations were identified. Future research and clinical implications are considered. Part two is an empirical paper that investigates whether different levels of self-agency - namely, action awareness (sense of agency) and a higher order level of agency (locus of control) - are related. It also explores the potential mechanisms by which self-agency alterations contribute to the development of psychotic-like experiences. External LoC was found to mediate the relationship between childhood trauma and psychotic-like experiences. The two levels of agency (SoA and LoC) were not associated. Part three, a critical appraisal of the research, discusses conceptual and methodological issues that arose and the implications for future research in the area of agency experiences. In addition, it includes the author’s personal reflections on the research process more generally and consideration of the scientist-practitioner model.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available