The impact of negative affect on reality discrimination

David Smailes*, Elizabeth Meins, Charles Fernyhough

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)
2 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Background and objectives People who experience auditory hallucinations tend to show weak reality discrimination skills, so that they misattribute internal, self-generated events to an external, non-self source. We examined whether inducing negative affect in healthy young adults would increase their tendency to make external misattributions on a reality discrimination task. Methods Participants (N = 54) received one of three mood inductions (one positive, two negative) and then performed an auditory signal detection task to assess reality discrimination. Results Participants who received either of the two negative inductions made more false alarms, but not more hits, than participants who received the neutral induction, indicating that negative affect makes participants more likely to misattribute internal, self-generated events to an external, non-self source. Limitations These findings are drawn from an analogue sample, and research that examines whether negative affect also impairs reality discrimination in patients who experience auditory hallucinations is required. Conclusions These findings show that negative affect disrupts reality discrimination and suggest one way in which negative affect may lead to hallucinatory experiences.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)389-395
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry
Volume45
Issue number3
Early online date13 Apr 2014
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2014
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'The impact of negative affect on reality discrimination'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this