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Durham University



Publication details for Professor David Over

Dudley, R. E. J., John, C. H., Young, A. W. & Over, D. E. (1997). The effect of self-referent material on the reasoning of people with delusions. British Journal Of Clinical Psychology 36(4): 575-584.

Author(s) from Durham


People with delusions have been shown to have both generalized (Huq, Garety & Hemsley, 1988) and content-specific biases in reasoning (Bentall, 1994). Our concern here was whether the hastiness that has been found when people with delusions reason on relatively abstract tasks would be present on a more realistic task. A second concern was whether reasoning with salient or emotional material would increase the hastiness bias in people with delusions.

Two versions of a probabilistic reasoning task were used to study the data gathering of people with delusions. The first version employed realistic but emotionally neutral material. People with delusions requested less evidence before making a decision than psychiatric and normal comparison groups. Therefore, the hastiness found previously with abstract materials was seen to generalize to a more realistic task. In the second version participants were required to reason with material that had an emotional content and may have been regarded as being personally meaningful. In this condition all groups reduced the amount of evidence requested before making a decision.

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