Sensitivity of paranoid patients to nonverbal cues

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Abstract

To test the hypothesis of a special sensitivity on the part of paranoid patients to nonverbal cues, 2 videotapes were prepared for viewing by 24 hospitalized paranoid patients and 24 normal Ss. Half of each group saw a videotape of genuine stimuli, and half saw a videotape of simulated stimuli. The stimuli consisted of 40 6-sec shots of the same 4 persons on each tape. The faces of the persons were shown as they watched 2 lights serving as signals. For the genuine tape, electric shock was administered to the stimulus person at the cessation of a red light, but none after a white light; for the simulated tape, stimulus Ss posed their expectation. Viewing Ss judged whether, at each presentation, the stimulus person on the videotape expected or did not expect to receive an electric shock. Paranoid Ss demonstrated significantly higher accuracy than normals for genuine stimuli, while normal Ss were significantly more accurate than patients for simulated stimuli. Normal Ss were more accurate for simulated stimuli than they were for genuine stimuli, while patients were not. Data support the hypothesis. (28 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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