Publications by authors named "Christopher O Michael"

4 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Perceptions of hostility by persons with and without persecutory delusions.

Cogn Neuropsychiatry 2009 Jan;14(1):30-52

Department of Psychology, University of Texas at Tyler, Tyler, TX 75799, USA.

Introduction: Current models of paranoia propose that ambiguous situations, in which cues regarding the intentions of others are lacking, may be perceived as hostile by persons with persecutory delusions (PD). Thus, a social-cognitive bias for the perception of hostility may be present. In this study, the Ambiguous Intentions Hostility Questionnaire (AIHQ) was used to present situations that are ambiguous regarding the intentions of others. It was predicted that on the AIHQ, persons with PD would show greater levels of perceived hostility, blame, and aggression than both psychiatric and nonpsychiatric controls.

Methods: The sample comprised 32 persons with PD, 28 persons without PD (psychiatric controls), and 50 healthy participants (nonpsychiatric controls). Participants completed the AIHQ along with measures of paranoia, attributional style, depression, anxiety, self-esteem, and public self-consciousness.

Results: As predicted, the group with PD showed greater perceptions of hostility, blame, and aggression scores for ambiguous situations on the AIHQ. Also, the AIHQ Hostility bias score was predictive of paranoid ideation.

Conclusions: Persons with PD showed a social-cognitive bias for perceiving hostility in ambiguous situations. The bias appears to be specific as it was not found in the psychiatric or nonpsychiatric control groups. Suggestions for future research are discussed.
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January 2009

Subtypes of paranoia in a nonclinical sample.

Cogn Neuropsychiatry 2007 Nov;12(6):537-53

University of Texas at Tyler, 3900 University Boulevard, Tyler, TX 75799, USA.

Introduction: Previous research has proposed that there may be subtypes of paranoia with different patterns of performance on symptom and clinical measures. However, there has been little empirical examination of whether distinct subtypes actually exist. Recent research has suggested that paranoia can be found in normal individuals and exists on a continuum. Thus, it is possible that evidence for subtypes of paranoia can be derived from nonclinical samples.

Methods: From a total of 723 participants, we identified 114 college students who showed elevated levels of paranoia as determined by two measures of paranoid ideation. The remaining sample of 609 persons served as the nonparanoid control group. All participants completed measures of depression, self-esteem, and social anxiety. Scores from the high subclinical group was subjected to cluster analysis to derive homogeneous subtypes. Participants also completed a measure of attributional style, the IPSAQ, which was used to validate the subtypes and was not used in the cluster analysis.

Results: Based on the cluster analysis, three subtypes were derived. Each subtype showed a different pattern of scores on measures of depression, self-esteem, and anxiety. There were also additional differences on the externalising and personalising bias scores from the IPSAQ between the subtypes.

Conclusions: We conclude that there is preliminary evidence for the presence of subtypes among nonclinical samples and discuss the patterns of performance in relation to previous research on subtypes of paranoia. The implications of these subtypes for the study of paranoia are discussed.
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November 2007

The conviction of delusional beliefs scale: reliability and validity.

Schizophr Res 2006 Sep 1;86(1-3):80-8. Epub 2006 Aug 1.

University of Tulsa, Department of Psychology, Lorton Hall, Tulsa, OK 74104, USA.

This study reports on the development of a new measure of delusional belief conviction, the Conviction of Delusional Beliefs Scale (CDBS). Most of the current scales in use assess belief conviction with a single item and primarily reflect the cognitive aspects of conviction. The CDBS represents an improvement over existing scales in that it contains a larger number of test items that can be subjected to psychometric examination. In addition, the CDBS also broadens the concept of belief conviction by incorporating cognitive, emotional, and behavioral items. In the present study, fifty participants with delusions completed the CDBS along with measures of delusional ideation, psychiatric symptomatology, insight, and reading ability. The CDBS showed very good levels of internal consistency and test-retest stability over a six-week period. All of the CDBS items loaded highly on a unitary factor of belief conviction. The CDBS positively correlated with four measures of belief conviction thereby reflecting the convergent validity of the scale. The CDBS was unrelated to other dimensions of delusional ideation, psychiatric symptomatology, insight, and reading ability, which supported the discriminant validity of the scale. The CDBS appears to be a reliable and valid measure of delusional belief conviction that could be used in clinical and research settings.
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September 2006

Paranoia and emotion perception across the continuum.

Br J Clin Psychol 2006 Mar;45(Pt 1):19-31

Department of Psychology, University of Tulsa, 600 South College Avenue, Tulsa, OK 74104, USA.

Objectives: Persons with high levels of paranoid ideation may be more sensitive to emotional stimuli, particularly negative emotions, reflecting the operation of a paranoid schema. However, this finding has not been consistently supported and needs further study. This study examined the effect of paranoia, as measured on a continuum, on emotion perception. It was predicted that higher levels of paranoia would be associated with improved emotion perception scores with better recognition for negative emotions than positive.

Design: A four-group ANOVA design was used to compare participants with clinical and sub-clinical paranoia to reflect the continuum view of paranoia.

Methods: A group with persecutory delusions (N=30) was compared with three sub-clinical groups (N=88) on two posed emotion perception tasks. The sub-clinical participants were divided into high, moderate, and low groups based on scores from the Paranoia Scale, a widely used measure of sub-clinical paranoia.

Results: Persons with persecutory delusions had lower overall emotion perception scores than all of the sub-clinical groups. For negative emotions, persons with persecutory delusions had lower identification scores than the moderate and low sub-clinical groups, but were no different than the high sub-clinical group. Anger was especially problematic for clinical participants. There were no differences for positive emotions.

Conclusions: Instead of an enhanced sensitivity for the recognition of emotional states, higher levels of paranoia were linked to a performance deficit on emotion perception tasks. The deficits in emotion perception may reflect the increased skepticism and scrutiny associated with posed emotion tasks (Davis & Gibson, 2000). Research should begin to focus on the underlying mechanisms of emotion perception deficits in paranoia.
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March 2006