Cognitive and social cognitive deficits in paranoia

Bertalan Polner, Anna Pengue, Szabolcs Kéri, Ahmed A. Moustafa

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterResearchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Paranoia refers to the exaggerated and unfounded fear that others are deliberately trying to cause harm to the self. Paranoia is not restricted to mental disorders. In contrast, paranoid ideation varies along a continuum, from subtle everyday suspiciousness, to severe persecutory delusions. Paranoia appears to be associated with fundamental reasoning biases, and is related to various impairments in cognitive processing of the social environment. Prominent examples include aberrant salience of neutral or ambivalent social stimuli and enhanced anticipation of social threat, insecure attachment and negative schemas of the self and others, and an external-personal attributional bias for negative events. The literature is somewhat controversial with respect to how mentalizing is associated with paranoia. Finally, studies conducted within a game theoretic framework provided insight into how paranoia relates to distrust and reduced cooperation during social interactions.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSocial Cognition in Psychosis
EditorsK. E. Lewandowski, A. A. Moustafa
PublisherAcademic Press
Number of pages33
ISBN (Electronic)9780128153154
Publication statusPublished - 2019
Externally publishedYes


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