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What motivates avoidance in paranoia? Three failures to find a betrayal aversion effect

Greenburgh, A; Barnby, JM; Delpech, R; Kenny, A; Bell, V; Raihani, N; (2021) What motivates avoidance in paranoia? Three failures to find a betrayal aversion effect. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology , 97 , Article 104206. 10.1016/j.jesp.2021.104206. (In press).

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Abstract

The heightened belief that others intend to harm you (paranoia) is often accompanied by social withdrawal, avoidance and isolation. We investigated whether paranoia is related to betrayal aversion: the tendency to avoid potential harm caused by other people over and above an equivalent harm caused by a non-social mechanism. Across three large-N (Ntotal = 2433) pre-registered online studies, we employed a game theoretic paradigm where participants engaged in interactions with real players. Studies 1 and 2 explored betrayal aversion by eliciting participants' willingness to enter interactions where monetary reward was either determined by another player or a lottery. Study 3 examined betrayal aversion in a context where choices were not financially-incentivised. Paranoia was not associated with betrayal aversion or risk aversion in any study. We consider two possibilities: that paranoia does not involve increased risk aversion or betrayal aversion, or that the paradigm was limited in terms of its ability to trigger betrayal and risk aversion behaviour in paranoia.

Type: Article
Title: What motivates avoidance in paranoia? Three failures to find a betrayal aversion effect
DOI: 10.1016/j.jesp.2021.104206
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jesp.2021.104206
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Clinical, Edu and Hlth Psychology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Experimental Psychology
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10133899
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