Suspicious minds: the psychology of persecutory delusions.

  title={Suspicious minds: the psychology of persecutory delusions.},
  author={Daniel Freeman},
  journal={Clinical psychology review},
  volume={27 4},
  • D. Freeman
  • Published 1 May 2007
  • Psychology
  • Clinical psychology review

Tables from this paper

Advances in understanding and treating persecutory delusions: a review
The aim of the review is to provide an introduction to the understanding of persecutory delusions, highlight key putative causal factors that have the potential to be translated into efficacious treatment, and indicate future research directions.
Cognitive factors maintaining persecutory delusions in psychosis: the contribution of depression.
Depression is common in patients with current persecutory delusions, and it shows similar cognitive features to major depressive disorder, according to the results of this study.
Fear of madness and persecutory delusions: Preliminary investigation of a new scale
There are anecdotal clinical reports of fear of madness occurring in individuals with psychosis, but the topic has not been a focus of empirical scrutiny. The first aim of the study was to
Chronic persecutory delusion and autobiographical memories in patients with schizophrenia: a diary study.
Memories of persecutory events were highly emotional and semanticized and were frequently incorrectly recognized, suggesting the existence of bias resulting from interactions between their processing and persecutory delusions.
Paranoid Delusions: A Review Of Theoretical Explanations
It is suggested that there are basic cognitive impairments that lead to disturbances in the mental imagination that result on the two cognitive deficits and force a person to have delusional beliefs.
Testing the Continuum of Delusional Beliefs
Virtual reality was used to validate groups of individuals with low, moderate, and high levels of unfounded persecutory ideation to investigate, drawing upon a cognitive model of persecutory delusions, whether clinical and nonclinical paranoia are associated with similar causal factors.


The Psychology of Persecutory Ideation I: A Questionnaire Survey
A questionnaire survey of nonclinical paranoia designed to assess the theoretical model of paranoia found that paranoia was best explained by separation anxiety, depression, fragile inner self, hallucinatory experiences, discomfort with ambiguity, stress, self-focus, perceptual anomalies, and anxiety.
A cognitive model of persecutory delusions.
A multifactorial model of the formation and maintenance of persecutory delusions is presented, which includes the (non-defended) direct roles given to emotion in delusion formation, the detailed consideration of both the content and form of delusions, and the hypotheses concerning the associated emotional distress.
Content and affect in persecutory delusions.
Specific aspects of delusional content were found to be associated with emotional distress, consistent with cognitive models of delusions which emphasize the importance of considering emotional distress in the context of belief appraisal, although interpretation of the results is limited by the cross-sectional study design.
The Psychology of Persecutory Ideation II: A Virtual Reality Experimental Study
It is concluded that nonclinical paranoid thoughts are most closely associated with emotional disturbances and anomalous experiences and Extreme reasoning bias may particularly contribute to the development of clinical phenomena.
Cognitive Processes in Delusional Disorders
This study challenges the assumption that delusional disorder (DD) patients are covertly depressed and concludes that DD is a distinct disorder predicated upon sensitivity to threat and biases of attention and attribution.
“Theory of mind”, persecutory delusions and the somatic marker mechanism
The nature of persecutory delusions is understandable in terms of the somatic marker mechanism, and the content of delusions is consistent with the nature of hostile threats to men in the ancestral human environment.
Brief report Social cognition and subclinical paranoid ideation
Objective. A number of cognitive biases have been identified relevant to persecutory thought (e.g. exaggerated self-serving bias). Moreover, findings of increased depressed mood in conjunction with
Social cognition and subclinical paranoid ideation.
It is suggested that mood, anxiety and perceptions of the self are related to paranoid ideation in a nonclinical sample by examining the linear relationship between persecutory ideation and multiple clinical and social cognitive variables.