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Information processing & defence in psychosis

In recent years, previous research has indicated that symptoms such as delusional beliefs may have a defensive function against underlying negative schemata (Candido & Romney, 1991; Lyon et al. 1994). However, hitherto research has failed to examine information processing in psychosis across the processing spectrum. The aim of the present research was to investigate cognitive functioning in psychosis on several tasks operating at different levels of conscious and non-conscious processing in order to ascertain at what level the defence operates. The research also investigated the impact of personally salient stimuli on information processing in addition to the standardised emotional stimuli employed in previous studies. Results indicated that people with psychosis demonstrate a processing pattern similar to that of depression on tasks employing non conscious processes. Both people with psychosis and depression were found to demonstrate a self-blaming attributional style on covert tasks (ExpA), whilst showing implicit memory biases for both positive and negative stimuli (Exp.2). Differentiation between the two groups was found on a conscious level, with people with psychosis demonstrating an explicit memory bias for positive stimuli whilst revealing a self-serving attributional style and people with depression revealing an explicit memory bias for negative stimuli and a self-blaming attributional style. In contrast to people with depression who demonstrated an attentional bias for negative stimuli, people with psychosis were found to demonstrate a trend in attentional bias for positive stimuli (Exp. I). People with psychosis were also found to be particularly hasty in their decision-making (Exp.S). No difference between the groups, however, was found on the emotional Stroop task (Exp.3). Thus, the results support previous research and suggest that the symptoms of psychosis may have a protective function against underlying negative schemata.
Date January 1999
CreatorsTaylor, Jayne Louise
PublisherTeesside University
Source SetsEthos UK
Detected LanguageEnglish
TypeElectronic Thesis or Dissertation

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