How Do Delusion-Prone Individuals Respond to Disconfirmatory Evidence? Improving Comprehension of the Beads Task May Help

Jessica Howe, Robert Malcolm Ross, Ryan McKay, Ryan P. Balzan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Research employing the beads task suggests that people with delusional tendencies over-adjust to disconfirmatory evidence compared to low-delusion-prone individuals. This interpretation is in tension with studies using the bias against disconfirmatory evidence (BADE) task, which provide evidence that people with delusional tendencies are less receptive to disconfirmatory evidence. It has been suggested that over-adjustment on the beads task may be driven by miscomprehension of the task. The current preliminary study aimed to minimize miscomprehension on the beads task and determine how high-delusion-prone people respond to disconfirmatory evidence on both tasks. Fifty-one undergraduate participants completed the BADE task and an adapted version of the beads task. We expected that corrective feedback on the beads task would reduce miscomprehension, and that high-delusion-prone participants would be less receptive to disconfirmatory evidence on both tasks. Our results suggest this version of the beads task improved rates of comprehension relative to previous research. However, we found no evidence that the high-delusion-prone group demonstrated elevated over-adjustment or belief inflexibility in either task. The theoretical implications of these findings are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)182-190
Number of pages9
JournalZeitschrift fur Psychologie / Journal of Psychology
Volume226
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 27 Jun 2018

Keywords

  • BADE
  • beads task
  • belief inflexibility
  • delusion-proneness
  • miscomprehension
  • over-adjustment

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