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Title: Investigation of contributory factors in the development of paranoia
Author: Murphy, Regina
ISNI:       0000 0004 9349 0095
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 2020
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Paranoia can manifest in a number of ways, ranging from concerns about others’ intentions to delusions of persecution. It is one of the most prevalent symptoms of psychosis but can also be experienced by the general population to varying degrees. Although a wealth of research has focused on paranoia to date, there continue to be gaps in our understanding of what fosters its development. This thesis aimed to address these by exploring possible contributory factors in two distinct projects. The first chapter presents a meta-analysis which synthesised 26 studies to assess the association between paranoia and attachment insecurity. It found both to be moderately associated, with the magnitude of this link remaining consistent regardless of variations in age, sex, or diagnosis. The second chapter presents an experimental study which investigated whether paranoia could be precipitated by loneliness. The latter was induced in a sample of 80 nonclinical volunteers using a three-stage procedure. Statistical analysis indicated that changes in loneliness and changes in paranoia covaried. Despite a number of methodological limitations, these findings point towards a possible relationship between both experiences.
Supervisor: Goodall, Karen Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Clin.Psy.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: paranoia ; relationships ; loneliness