Constructions of Paranoia: A Q-Methodology Study.

Prof Doc Thesis

Steel, Julie Nicola 2010. Constructions of Paranoia: A Q-Methodology Study. Prof Doc Thesis University of East London School of Psychology
AuthorsSteel, Julie Nicola
TypeProf Doc Thesis

This study investigated the concept of paranoia using Q methodology. It was
proposed that paranoia is a highly contested and debated topic within the
disciplines of psychiatry, and more recently psychology. There are a plethora
of viewpoints expressed within these professions as to how the concept of
paranoia might be understood and what might cause paranoia. As Q
methodology is concerned with exploring multiple accounts on a topic, it was
decided that this was an appropriate method to explore this debate. Two Q
sorts were completed: one to investigate the conceptual understanding of
paranoia and the second to look at the causes of paranoia. Three groups of
participants took part in this study: mental health professionals; mental health
service users; and lay people. This study extracted five factors for the
understandings study: a normalised account; a mental illness account; an unuseful
choice account; a reasoning bias account and a lack of trust account.
There were six factors extracted for the causes study: an experiential account;
a physical causes account; an illegal drugs and schizophrenia account; a
social causes account; a cognitive style account and a bio-psycho-social
account. The areas of commonality and contestation for these accounts were
discussed with reference to the relevant literature, before a critical review and
discussion of the limitations of this study.

Publication dates
PrintJan 2010
Publication process dates
Deposited12 Jun 2014
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