Emotional Reactions to Simulations of Auditory Hallucinations

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Abstract

There is variability on how auditory hallucinations (AH) impact individuals, ranging from distress to comfort. A systematic study of how simulations of AH impact a non-clinical sample can address not only how AH simulations influence the general public, but also inform how actual AH influence individuals. Utilizing 504 undergraduates, different simulations of AH were presented to examine their impact on emotions and identify moderating variables. The simulations increased negative affect and decreased positive affect. Sex of the participant and differing levels of duration, volume, and context of the simulation did not influence the magnitude of the emotional responses. However, simulations with derogatory content led to greater increased negative affect and decreased positive affect than simulations with benevolent/neutral content. These results suggest that the content of simulations have a substantial effect, which is pertinent to administering simulations for training purposes and implementing psychosocial rehabilitation programs for those who hallucinate.

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