Jumping to Conclusions and Delusion Proneness: The Impact of Emotionally Salient Stimuli

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The present study investigated whether those who are delusion-prone demonstrate a jumping to conclusions reasoning bias similar to that demonstrated by those with active delusions in previous studies. Two hundred individuals, none of whom had a psychotic disorder, were assessed for delusion-proneness and engaged in two probabilistic reasoning tasks, one emotionally neutral and the other emotionally salient. The emotionally salient task consisted of both positively and negatively valenced personally referent stimuli. Level of delusion-proneness was positively related to jumping to conclusions when stimuli were emotionally salient, though the bias was present only when the first personally referent stimulus was negatively valenced (p < 0.01). Thus, the jumping to conclusions reasoning bias previously demonstrated by individuals who have active delusions appears to be demonstrated under certain conditions by those who are not actively delusional but score high on a measure of delusion-proneness.

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