Measurement practices in hallucinations research

David Smailes*, Ben Alderson-Day, Cassie Hazell, Abigail C. Wright, Peter Moseley

*Corresponding author for this work

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Abstract

Introduction
In several sub-fields of psychology, there has been a renewed focus on measurement practices. As far as we are aware, this has been absent in hallucinations research. Thus, we investigated (a) cross-study variation in how hallucinatory experiences are measured and (b) the reliability of measurements obtained using two tasks that are widely employed in hallucinations research.

Method
In Study 1, we investigated to what extent there was variation in how the Launay-Slade Hallucination Scale (LSHS) has been used across 100 studies. In Study 2, we investigated the reliability of the measurements obtained through source monitoring and signal detection tasks, using data from four recent publications. Materials/data are available at doi: 10.17605/osf.io/d3gnk/.

Results
In Study 1, we found substantial variation in how hallucinatory experiences were assessed using the LSHS and that descriptions of the LSHS were often incomplete in important ways. In Study 2, we reported a range of reliability estimates for the measurements obtained using source monitoring and signal discrimination tasks. Some measurements obtained using source monitoring tasks had unacceptably low levels of reliability.

Conclusions
Our findings suggest that suboptimal measurement practices are common in hallucinations research and we suggest steps researchers could take to improve measurement practices.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages17
JournalCognitive Neuropsychiatry
Early online date8 Nov 2021
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 8 Nov 2021

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