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.
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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, 2004-2019. 3285.