Life Stories and Paranoia

Grommisch, Gloria (2011) Life Stories and Paranoia.

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Abstract:Background Previous studies regarding paranoia are mostly quantitative. Paranoid ideation varies in severity and content and sub forms of paranoia can be derived. Different theories about the development exist, but it is not possible to identify specific causes of paranoia. Aims The goal of this study is to assess paranoid thoughts and feelings qualitatively and to link these findings to quantitative measures. Furthermore, we want to investigate if it is possible to identify life events which might contribute to paranoia. Method Non-clinical subjects were screened on paranoid thoughts by use of the paranoia scale. Five other scales were used in an online-survey to measure depression, social anxiety, attribution style, self-esteem and the Big-five personality characteristics. A correlation analysis and a linear regression analysis were used to identify associations between the constructs. A cluster analysis was used to derive sub forms of paranoia. Qualitative insights were gained with the use of life story interviews. Results Paranoia is associated with different constructs. The strongest associations were found between paranoia, depression and social anxiety. Two sub types of paranoia could be derived. With increasing scores on paranoia, less communion themes and more negative life events in relation to positive live events are reported. Also, the agency/communion ratio increases with higher scores on paranoia. Conclusions It was not possible to identify specific life events which might contribute to paranoia. More research is needed on the relation between paranoia and the Big-five personality characteristics, cultural differences, the stability of sub types in non-clinical samples and life events that might contribute to paranoid ways of thinking.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:77 psychology
Programme:Psychology BSc (56604)
Link to this item:http://purl.utwente.nl/essays/60955
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