Associations between acceptance of the implausible bias, theory of mind and delusions in first-episode psychosis patients; A longitudinal study

Jonatan M. Panula*, Maija Lindgren, Tuula Kieseppä, Jaana Suvisaari, Tuukka T. Raij

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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Abstract

Multiple different cognitive biases, among them the liberal acceptance (LA) bias, have been suggested to contribute to reality distortion in psychotic disorders. Earlier studies have been cross-sectional and considered a limited set of cognitive correlates of psychosis, thus the relationship between LA bias and psychosis remains poorly known. We studied a similar bias (acceptance of the implausible (AOI)) in 62 first-episode psychosis (FEP) patients and 62 control subjects, who watched movie scenes with varying degrees of realism and were asked to evaluate the probability of these events occurring in real life. We assessed theory of mind (ToM) performance using the Hinting task and delusion severity using Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale item 11. We correlated the magnitude of AOI with the severity of delusions and performance in the ToM task. Furthermore, we used 1-year follow-up data from 40 FEP patients and 40 control subjects to disentangle state vs trait-like characteristics of AOI. At baseline FEP patients expressed more AOI than control subjects, and the magnitude of AOI correlated positively with the severity of delusions and negatively with ToM performance. At the one-year follow-up, when most patients were in remission, patients still displayed increased AOI, which no longer correlated with delusions. These findings support the notion that the AOI bias could represent a trait rather than a state feature and support further studies to test the hypothesis that it could be one of the causal factors of psychotic disorders, possibly associated with ToM.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)27-34
Number of pages8
JournalSchizophrenia Research
Volume254
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2023
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Keywords

  • Cognitive bias
  • Schizophrenia
  • Social cognition
  • Theory of mind

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