PERCEPTIONS OF PARANOID THOUGHTS IN A NONCLINICAL GROUP OF COLLEGE STUDENTS1,2

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Abstract

Researchers have focused on the distinction between paranoid and social anxious thoughts for eliciting characteristics of paranoid thoughts in greater detail, which may aid theoretical development and understanding of persecutory delusions with regard to continuity between nonclinical and clinical symptoms. This is a report of characteristics of paranoid thoughts compared to social anxious thoughts in a sample of 128 college students. Nine dimensions concerning how individuals perceive their paranoid and social anxious thoughts were assessed as self-ratings for each on resistance, distress, absurdity, conviction, corrigibility, controllability, perception of intended harm, anger, and frequency. These dimensions for the two thoughts were generally independent of each other. Analyses suggested that paranoid thoughts might be characterized by higher distress, absurdity, corrigibility, perception of intended harm, and anger, and by lower conviction compared to social anxious thoughts in this nonclinical group.

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