Header

UZH-Logo

Maintenance Infos

Inflexible social inference in individuals with subclinical persecutory delusional tendencies


Wellstein, Katharina V; Diaconescu, Andreea Oliviana; Bischof, Martin; Rüesch, Annia; Paolini, Gina; Aponte, Eduardo A; Ullrich, Johannes; Stephan, Klaas Enno (2020). Inflexible social inference in individuals with subclinical persecutory delusional tendencies. Schizophrenia Research, 215:344-351.

Abstract

It has been suspected that abnormalities in social inference (e.g., learning others' intentions) play a key role in the formation of persecutory delusions (PD). In this study, we examined the association between subclinical PD and social inference, testing the prediction that proneness to PD is related to altered social inference and beliefs about others' intentions. We included 151 participants scoring on opposite ends of Freeman's Paranoia Checklist (PCL). The participants performed a probabilistic advice-taking task with a dynamically changing social context (volatility) under one of two experimental frames. These frames differentially emphasised possible reasons behind unhelpful advice: (i) the adviser's possible intentions (dispositional frame) or (ii) the rules of the game (situational frame). Our design was thus 2 × 2 factorial (high vs. low delusional tendencies, dispositional vs. situational frame). We found significant group-by-frame interactions, indicating that in the situational frame high PCL scorers took advice less into account than low scorers. Additionally, high PCL scorers believed more frequently that incorrect advice was delivered intentionally and that such misleading behaviour was directed towards them personally. Overall, our results suggest that social inference in individuals with subclinical PD tendencies is shaped by negative prior beliefs about the intentions of others and is thus less sensitive to the attributional framing of adviser-related information. These findings may help future attempts of identifying individuals at risk for developing psychosis and understanding persecutory delusions in psychosis.

Abstract

It has been suspected that abnormalities in social inference (e.g., learning others' intentions) play a key role in the formation of persecutory delusions (PD). In this study, we examined the association between subclinical PD and social inference, testing the prediction that proneness to PD is related to altered social inference and beliefs about others' intentions. We included 151 participants scoring on opposite ends of Freeman's Paranoia Checklist (PCL). The participants performed a probabilistic advice-taking task with a dynamically changing social context (volatility) under one of two experimental frames. These frames differentially emphasised possible reasons behind unhelpful advice: (i) the adviser's possible intentions (dispositional frame) or (ii) the rules of the game (situational frame). Our design was thus 2 × 2 factorial (high vs. low delusional tendencies, dispositional vs. situational frame). We found significant group-by-frame interactions, indicating that in the situational frame high PCL scorers took advice less into account than low scorers. Additionally, high PCL scorers believed more frequently that incorrect advice was delivered intentionally and that such misleading behaviour was directed towards them personally. Overall, our results suggest that social inference in individuals with subclinical PD tendencies is shaped by negative prior beliefs about the intentions of others and is thus less sensitive to the attributional framing of adviser-related information. These findings may help future attempts of identifying individuals at risk for developing psychosis and understanding persecutory delusions in psychosis.

Statistics

Citations

Dimensions.ai Metrics
1 citation in Web of Science®
1 citation in Scopus®
Google Scholar™

Altmetrics

Downloads

28 downloads since deposited on 19 Sep 2019
28 downloads since 12 months
Detailed statistics

Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Psychiatric University Hospital Zurich > Clinic for Psychiatry, Psychotherapy, and Psychosomatics
06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Psychology
04 Faculty of Medicine > Institute of Biomedical Engineering
Dewey Decimal Classification:150 Psychology
Scopus Subject Areas:Health Sciences > Psychiatry and Mental Health
Life Sciences > Biological Psychiatry
Language:English
Date:1 January 2020
Deposited On:19 Sep 2019 11:50
Last Modified:29 Jul 2020 11:21
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:0920-9964
OA Status:Hybrid
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.schres.2019.08.031
PubMed ID:31495701
Project Information:
  • : FunderRené and Susanne Braginsky Foundation
  • : Grant ID
  • : Project Title
  • : FunderSNSF
  • : Grant IDPZ00P3_167952
  • : Project TitleNeurocomputational Modelling of Delusions and its Clinical Utility for Psychosis

Download

Hybrid Open Access

Download PDF  'Inflexible social inference in individuals with subclinical persecutory delusional tendencies'.
Preview
Content: Published Version
Language: English
Filetype: PDF
Size: 834kB
View at publisher
Licence: Creative Commons: Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)