Jumping to conclusions in the less-delusion-prone? Further evidence from a more reliable beads task

Benjamin F. McLean, Ryan P. Balzan, Julie K. Mattiske

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Background: A single meta-analysis has found that healthy people with higher delusion-proneness tend to gather less information (i.e., make fewer draws to decision, or DTD) on the beads task, although the findings of contributing studies were mixed, and the pooled effect size was small. However, using a new and more reliable “distractor sequences” beads task, we recently found a positive relationship between delusion-proneness and DTD in a healthy sample. In the current study, we re-tested this relationship in a new sample, and tested the possibility that the relationship is driven by participant's ability to understand and use odds or likelihood information (“odds literacy”). Methods: Healthy participants (N = 167) completed the distractor sequences beads task, the Peters Delusions Inventory (PDI) which measures delusion-proneness, a measure of odds literacy, and the Depression, Anxiety, and Stress scale. Results: PDI and DTD were positively correlated, and comparing PDI quartiles on DTD confirmed a statistically significant trend of increasing DTD with PDI quartile. Odds literacy was positively rather than negatively associated with both DTD and PDI. Anxiety was positively correlated with PDI and DTD. Conclusions: We replicated our earlier finding that DTD and delusion-proneness were positively related in a non-clinical sample, but found that increased odds-literacy did not drive lower PDI and DTD, and hence did not explain their covariance. It is possible however that anxiety and co-occurring risk aversion drive increased delusion-proneness and information-gathering, potentially accounting for the positive relationship between PDI and DTD.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102956
Number of pages10
JournalConsciousness and Cognition
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2020


  • Beads task
  • Delusion-proneness
  • Delusions
  • JTC
  • Jumping to conclusions
  • Odds literacy
  • Psychosis


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