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Hypersensitivity to Contingent Behavior in Paranoia: A New Virtual Reality Paradigm

Fornells-Ambrojo, M; Elenbaas, M; Barker, C; Swapp, D; Navarro, X; Rovira, A; Sanahuja, JM; (2016) Hypersensitivity to Contingent Behavior in Paranoia: A New Virtual Reality Paradigm. The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease , 204 (2) pp. 148-152. 10.1097/NMD.0000000000000414. Green open access

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Abstract

Contingency in interpersonal relationships is associated with the development of secure attachment and trust, whereas paranoia arises from the overattribution of negative intentions. We used a new virtual reality paradigm to experimentally investigate the impact of contingent behavior on trust along the paranoia continuum. Sixty-one healthy participants were randomly allocated to have a social interaction with a pleasant virtual human (avatar) programmed to be highly responsive or not (high/low contingency). Perceived trustworthiness and trusting behavior were assessed alongside control variables attachment and anxiety. Higher paranoia and dismissive attachment were associated with larger interpersonal distances. Unexpectedly, extremely paranoid individuals experienced the highly contingent avatar as more trustworthy than their low contingency counterpart. Higher dismissive attachment was also associated with more subjective trust in both conditions. Extreme paranoia is associated with hypersensitivity to noncontingent behavior, which might explain experiences of mistrust when others are not highly responsive in everyday social situations.

Type: Article
Title: Hypersensitivity to Contingent Behavior in Paranoia: A New Virtual Reality Paradigm
Location: United States
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1097/NMD.0000000000000414
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/NMD.0000000000000414
Language: English
Additional information: © 2016 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. This manuscript is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial Licence (CC BY-NC). http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/. Access may be initially restricted by the publisher.
Keywords: Attachment, trust, paranoia, contingency, social environment, virtual reality
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
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 > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > Dept of Computer Science
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1474425
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