Jumping to the wrong conclusions? An investigation of the mechanisms of reasoning errors in delusions

Jolley, Suzanne, Thompson, Claire, Hurley, James, Medin, Evelina, Butler, Lucy, Bebbington, Paul, Dunn, Graham, Freeman, Daniel, Fowler, David, Kuipers, Elizabeth and Garety, Philippa (2014) Jumping to the wrong conclusions? An investigation of the mechanisms of reasoning errors in delusions. Psychiatry Research, 219 (2). pp. 275-282. ISSN 0165-1781

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Abstract

Understanding how people with delusions arrive at false conclusions is central to the refinement of cognitive behavioural interventions. Making hasty decisions based on limited data (‘jumping to conclusions’, JTC) is one potential causal mechanism, but reasoning errors may also result from other processes. In this study, we investigated the correlates of reasoning errors under differing task conditions in 204 participants with schizophrenia spectrum psychosis who completed three probabilistic reasoning tasks. Psychotic symptoms, affect, and IQ were also evaluated. We found that hasty decision makers were more likely to draw false conclusions, but only 37% of their reasoning errors were consistent with the limited data they had gathered. The remainder directly contradicted all the presented evidence. Reasoning errors showed task-dependent associations with IQ, affect, and psychotic symptoms. We conclude that limited data-gathering contributes to false conclusions but is not the only mechanism involved. Delusions may also be maintained by a tendency to disregard evidence. Low IQ and emotional biases may contribute to reasoning errors in more complex situations. Cognitive strategies to reduce reasoning errors should therefore extend beyond encouragement to gather more data, and incorporate interventions focused directly on these difficulties.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2014 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/).
Uncontrolled Keywords: schizophrenia,psychosis,reasoning,cognitive therapy,iq
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > Norwich Medical School
Depositing User: Pure Connector
Date Deposited: 19 Aug 2014 15:48
Last Modified: 21 Apr 2020 23:23
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/49954
DOI: 10.1016/j.psychres.2014.05.051

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