Delusions are symptomatic of a number of psychiatric disorders; however, nonpsychiatric adults have also been shown to vary on a propensity toward delusional thought, or "delusion-proneness." The current study examined whether there is a relationship between an individual's degree of delusion proneness (on a continuum) and performance on the Stroop task, a cognitive task thought to measure conflict response monitoring. It was theorized that reduced conflict response monitoring ability may relate to (and perhaps cause) increased delusional propensity. A total of 35 nonpsychiatric college students completed a measure of delusion-proneness (Peter's et al. Delusion Inventory-21 item version; PDI-21), and a computerized version of the Stroop task with three conditions- congruent, incongruent, and neutral. It was hypothesized that PDI-21 scores would be positively correlated to Stroop interference contrast scores. Results revealed that delusion-proneness showed a statistically significant positive correlation with the Stroop reaction time contrast score, but not the accuracy constrast score, in the incongruent/congruent contrasts. Our pattern of results suggests that efficiency (i.e. reaction time) of Stroop performance is more sensitive to delusion-proneness, compared to the more gross measure of accuracy. This study appears to be the first to report this relationship across a continuum of delusion-proneness in a nonpsychiatric sample, and overall, the findings suggest that delusion-proneness is related to performance on a behavioral measure of conflict response monitoring and inhibitory control. This research may have implications on treatment interventions used with patients presenting with clinical delusions.
Master of Science (M.S.)
College of Sciences
Length of Campus-only Access
Masters Thesis (Open Access)
Orem, Diana, "The Relationship Between Stroop Task Performance And Delusion-proneness In Non-psychiatric Adults" (2007). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 3285.