Alisa King Robert Dudley


Non-clinical populations experience paranoid ideations on a regular basis. Psychological models of paranoia hypothesize paranoid ideations are maintained by processes like worry. Previous links between anxiety, worry and paranoia are also evident in non-clinical populations.  To overcome worry individuals may avoid mental images that cause distressing arousal by using an internal strategy of cognitive avoidance (CA). It has been further hypothesized the use of CA may develop because of a predisposition of having an intolerance of uncertainty (IOU). Based on this rationale the current study investigated through self-report questionnaires the relationship between; worry, paranoia, CA and IOU in a student population (N=102) and specifically, if CA and IOU are maintaining factors of paranoia. The findings revealed significant relationships between all of the variables.  A hierarchical regression affirmed that CA, IOU and Depression, Anxiety and Stress (DASS) accounted for 43% of the variance in paranoia when combined with worry, gender and age. This study provides a foundation of evidence for the presence of CA and IOU in paranoia. If replicated in a clinical population the findings could help the formulation and assessment for the treatment of paranoia.