Journal Article

Attributional Style in Schizophrenia: An Investigation in Outpatients With and Without Persecutory Delusions

James A. Martin and David L. Penn

in Schizophrenia Bulletin

Published on behalf of Maryland Psychiatric Research Center

Volume 28, issue 1, pages 131-141
Published in print January 2002 | ISSN: 0586-7614
Published online January 2002 | e-ISSN: 1745-1701 | DOI:
Attributional Style in Schizophrenia: An Investigation in Outpatients With and Without Persecutory Delusions

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The attributional style of outpatients with schizophrenia with and without persecutory delusions was investigated. Thirty individuals with schizophrenia were divided into persecutory-deluded and non-persecutory-deluded groups based on a score of 5 or higher on the suspiciousness item from the Expanded Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale (BPRS-E). The two resulting groups, and a nonclinical control group, were administered a battery of attributional measures, and their attributional responses were coded by both the subjects themselves and a pair of independent raters. The results showed evidence of a self-serving bias for subjects with persecutory delusions; however, this bias was not unique to those with persecutory delusions, and it disappeared when independent raters evaluated subjects' causal statements on a reliable measure of attributional style. Subjects with persecutory delusions tended to show a stronger bias toward blaming others rather than situations for negative outcomes, and there was a linear association between persecutory ideation and a self-serving attributional style. Finally, there were significant discrepancies between the attributional ratings of the persecutory-deluded subjects and those of independent judges. Implications for future research are discussed.

Keywords: Attributional style; self-serving bias; paranoid delusions; schizophrenia; social cognition

Journal Article.  0 words. 

Subjects: Child and Adolescent Psychiatry

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