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Title: Correlates and predictors of nonclinical paranoia
Author: Matias, Carla S. F.
Awarding Body: Royal Holloway, University of London
Current Institution: Royal Holloway, University of London
Date of Award: 2015
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Despite the common, recurrent and distressing nature of nonclinical paranoia (Ellett, Lopes, & Chadwick, 2003), its concurrent and prospective relationship with theoretically relevant cognitive processes has not been comprehensively researched (Lincoln, Mobius, Huber, Nagel, & Moritz, 2014). Existing research heavily relies on cross-sectional designs, therefore preventing examination of the temporal and dynamic relationship between paranoia and putative cognitive predictors (Freeman, Stahl, McManus, Meltzer, Brugha, Wiles, et al., 2012). Knowledge of the relationship between paranoia and maladaptive behaviours thought to contribute to its maintenance is also limited (Lincoln et al., 2014). This study aimed to address these gaps by a) cross-sectionally examining the association between paranoia, three theoretically relevant cognitive factors (i.e. public self-consciousness, rumination, and mindfulness), and a global measure of problem behaviour, b) prospectively examining the temporal and dynamic relationships between paranoia and the three cognitive factors over 2 weeks, and c) examining the prediction of idiosyncratic paranoia experiences, as measured by the Personal Experiences of Paranoia Scale (PEPS; Ellett et al., 2003) from pre-defined trait and state measures of paranoia and the three cognitive factors. At baseline, university students (N=86) completed trait measures of paranoia, the three cognitive factors and a global measure of problem behaviour. Subsequently, state measures of paranoia and the three cognitive factors were completed at three random time points over 2 weeks. The PEPS was then completed at 2 weeks follow-up. Four key findings emerged: (1) at the trait level, paranoia positively associated with public self-consciousness, rumination, and problem behaviours, and negatively associated with mindfulness; (2) trait paranoia predicted variability in state paranoia over 2 weeks; (3) state measures of paranoia, public selfawareness, rumination and mindfulness correlated over the 2-week period, and (4) trait public self-consciousness predicted endorsement of paranoid experiences at 2 weeks follow-up. The findings support contemporary models of delusion formation and maintenance (Freeman, Garety, Kuipers, Fowler, & Bebbington, 2002; Chadwick, 2006), and provide a foundation for further research into the dynamic processes underlying the onset and persistence of paranoid thinking.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Clin.Psy.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: paranoia ; nonclinical groups ; predictors ; rumination ; self-consciousness ; mindfulness ; continuum ; cognitive models