World Assumptions in Psychosis: Do Paranoid Patients Believe in a Just World?

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The aim of this study was to examine the contents of world views held by patients with current persecutory beliefs. We examined whether these beliefs in a just world (BJW) were associated with the severity of psychopathology of participants. Our results showed that, compared with a healthy control group, the current persecutory beliefs group had weaker beliefs in a just world related to themselves (BJW-P), but there were no differences between both groups in their beliefs in general justice in the world (BJW-G). Regression analyses showed that BJW, particularly weaker beliefs in personal justice, significantly associated with more severe symptoms of depression and paranoia as well as with lower scores of psychological well-being. Our results support the relevance of the BJW framework in exploring world views in patients with persecutory beliefs. We discuss the implications of these results for the research and treatment of paranoid ideation.

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