Self-regulation, Affect and
Psycnosis: The Role of social
Cognition in Paranoia and
Richard P. Bentall
Department of Clinical Psycnology, University of Liverpool, UK and
Scnool of Psychiatry and Behavioural Sciences, University of Manchester, UK
In this chapter we will describe a programme of research that has highlighted the role of social cognition in persecutory (paranoid) delusions and mania. We will argue that bouh of these symptoms can be understood in terms of disorders of tnose mechanisms that normal individuals use to maintain a positive sense of self, and hence a positive mood, and that they are close relatives in a family of psychiatric disorders that also includes depression. If this argument is correct, the findings from paranoid and manic patients have important implications for the understanding of self-regulatory processes in normal individuals. Before reviewing the relevant research findings, however, it will first be useful to say something about the general characteristics of our approach, and about research on the role of affect in psycnouic disorders in general.