An experimental investigation using Cognitive Bias Modification for paranoid attributions in a non-clinical sample: Effects upon interpretation bias, emotions, and paranoia following a stressful paranoia induction.

Lodge, Joanna (2013) An experimental investigation using Cognitive Bias Modification for paranoid attributions in a non-clinical sample: Effects upon interpretation bias, emotions, and paranoia following a stressful paranoia induction. Doctoral thesis, University of East Anglia.

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Abstract

Background: Bentall, Corcoran, Howard, Blackwood, and Kinderman (2001)
suggested that paranoid individuals display an ‘external-personal bias’ of blaming
negative events on other people rather than situational circumstances or themselves,
however, the literature remains equivocal. This study tested whether Cognitive Bias
Modification for Interpretations (CBM-I) could train a positive attribution bias and
affect subsequent reactions to a stressor designed to induce paranoia.
Method: Non-clinical participants were randomly assigned to positive CBM-I
training (n = 18), or a neutral control CBM-I (n = 17). Participants were then subject
to a stressful paranoia induction: seeing a live video of themselves whilst accessing
negative self-beliefs and being given negative feedback when attempting an
impossible task. The subsequent effects upon interpretation bias and state paranoia
and emotions were assessed.
Results: After the paranoia induction, participants in the positive CBM-I group
demonstrated a more positive interpretation bias than those in the neutral control
group: they endorsed less paranoid interpretations, although there was no difference
in ratings of positive interpretations. However, both groups reported a similar
increase in state paranoia and suspiciousness after the stressful paranoia induction,
and there was no relationship between the trained interpretation bias and the changes
in state paranoia. Unexpectedly, pre-existing trait paranoia was correlated with state
paranoia and interpretation bias after the stressor.
xiv
Conclusions: This study demonstrated that CBM-I can train non-clinical
participants to endorse less paranoid interpretations. Pre-existing trait paranoia had a
stronger relationship to interpretative bias and state paranoia under stress than the
CBM-I. The lack of a subsequent effect on emotional reactions suggests that further
research is necessary to refine the materials and procedure, and test for possible
small or varied effects in a larger sample. Unfortunately, significant methodological
problems limit the conclusions that can be drawn about the theory that an externalpersonal
attribution bias causes paranoia.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > Norwich Medical School
Depositing User: Mia Reeves
Date Deposited: 12 Mar 2014 14:34
Last Modified: 12 Dec 2014 09:31
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/48112
DOI:

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