Master of Arts (MA)
Ideas of reference (IOR), paranoia, and social anxiety are three common symptoms of schizophrenia-spectrum disorders, which appear to be conceptually related. However, the precise nature of these relationships is unclear. A new measure that assesses perceived intentionality (PI), a social-cognitive bias for perceiving the actions of others during unpleasant social situations as being directed at oneself in an intentionally malicious manner, has provided preliminary evidence for a link between PI and paranoia. The primary aim of this study was to examine the moderating role of PI on the relationships between IOR and paranoia, and between IOR and social anxiety amongst individuals with psychometrically-defined schizotypy. As we expected, the schizotypy group exhibited significantly higher levels of IOR, paranoia, and social anxiety compared to controls. Correlational analyses within the schizotypy group found that paranoia was positively related to IOR and social anxiety. However, social anxiety was not related to IOR. Consistent with what we expected, the results revealed that PI moderated the relationship between IOR and paranoia such that higher PI predicted higher levels of paranoia as IOR increased. However, our results did not support our hypothesis that PI would moderate the relationship between IOR and social anxiety such that lower PI would predict higher levels of social anxiety as IOR increased. Instead the present study found that PI moderated the relationship between IOR and social anxiety such that higher PI predicted lower levels of social anxiety as IOR increased. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed.
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Morrison, Sean Cameron, "The moderating effects of perceived intentionality: exploring the relationships between ideas of reference, paranoia, and social anxiety in schizotypy" (2012). LSU Master's Theses. 2949.
Cohen, Alex S.