Introduction: Contemporary models of psychosis imply that cognitive biases such as the jumping to conclusions (JTC), the bias against disconfirmatory evidence (BADE), and the liberal acceptance (LA) bias play a role in the pathogenesis of delusions. Most of the studies investigating the role of cognitive biases, however, have been conducted with socially neutral or abstract stimuli and have assessed patients with established psychoses. For the present study, we aimed to concurrently investigate multiple biases (i.e., the JTC, BADE, and LA biases) in a community sample with a new paradigm using more socially engaging stimuli.
Methods: A large sample of participants (N = 874) recruited via Amazon Mechanical Turk was subdivided into two groups based on the frequency of their psychotic-like experiences (PLEs) according to the positive subscale score of the Community Assessment of Psychic Experiences (CAPE) and matched based on major demographics variables, resulting in two equally sized groups called High-PLE (at least 2 SD above the mean) and Low-PLE (maximum 0.5 above the mean; n = 46 for each group). Using a modified version of the written-scenarios BADE task, which emphasized social interactions between agents embedded in the scenario, participants rated the plausibility of response options in the face of new information.
Results: In line with previous findings, the High-PLE group demonstrated the JTC, BADE, and LA biases. That is, the members of this group made more decisions after the initial piece of information, were less likely to revise their beliefs in light of new information, and provided higher plausibility ratings for implausible response options compared to the Low-PLE group.
Conclusions: Results corroborate prior findings suggesting that the JTC, BADE, and LA biases may be contributing factors in delusional ideation and that metacognitive biases extend to social situations.
- Bias against
- Cognitive biases
- Disconfirmatory evidence
- Jumping to conclusions
- Liberal acceptance