Persecutory delusions and recall of threat-related, depression-related, and neutral words
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An experiment was conducted to examine recall bias in patients suffering from persecutory delusions, depressed controls, and normal subjects. Subjects were given a mixed list of threat-related, depression-related, and emotionally neutral words which they were asked to recall immediately afterwards. Deluded patients recalled fewer words overall than the normal subjects, and showed a recall bias toward both threat-related and depression-related words. The deluded subjects also showed a significant tendency to repeat threat-related words during recall. These biases were not significantly related to levels of depressive symptomatology or magical ideation in the deluded patients. Depressed patients showed a recall bias toward depression-related words only, and showed no significant tendency to repeat either depression-related or threat-related words. The findings are interpreted in the light of cognitive accounts of persecutory delusions.
Key wordsdelusions persecution recall cognitive bias
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