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

Jolley, S; Thompson, C; Hurley, J; Medin, E; Butler, L; Bebbington, P; Dunn, G; ... Garety, P; + view all (2014) Jumping to the wrong conclusions? An investigation of the mechanisms of reasoning errors in delusions. Psychiatry Research , 219 (2) 275 - 282. 10.1016/j.psychres.2014.05.051. Green open access

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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.

Type: Article
Title: Jumping to the wrong conclusions? An investigation of the mechanisms of reasoning errors in delusions
Location: Ireland
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1016/j.psychres.2014.05.051
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.psychres.2014.05.051
Language: English
Additional information: & 2014 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/)
Keywords: Cognitive therapy, IQ, Psychosis, Reasoning, Schizophrenia, Adult, Decision Making, Delusions, Emotions, Female, Humans, Judgment, Male, Middle Aged, Neuropsychological Tests, Psychotic Disorders, Thinking
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 > UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology > IoN RLW Inst of Neurological Sci
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1433484
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