ISSN 2043-8087
Journal of Experimental Psychopathology
 Volume 3, Issue 4, 594-611, 2012
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Introducing a Social Beads Task

Stefan Westermann (a), Stefan Salzmann (b), Xaver Fuchs (c) and Tania M. Lincoln (d)
(a) Fachbereich Medizin, Philipps-Universitat Marburg, Marburg, Germany
(b) Fachbereich Psychologie, Philipps-Universitat Marburg, Marburg, Germany
(c) Zentralinstitut fur Seelische Gesundheit, Ruprecht-Karls-Universitat Heidelberg, Germany
(d) Universitat Hamburg, Germany

Volume 3, Issue 4, 2012, Pages 594-611

'Jumping to conclusions' is a cognitive bias relevant to delusional ideation that has been reliably replicated with the Beads Task decision-making paradigm. Due to the artificial nature of this classical task, little is known about the generalization of hasty decision-making to more naturalistic, real-life situations. In this study the construction and psychometrical evaluation of an experimental Social Beads Task paradigm are reported. The task involves eighteen neutral, self-relevant and delusion-relevant scenarios in which participants have to decide between alternative explanations by obtaining complex, naturalistic pieces of information. Besides satisfying psychometric properties in the present non-clinical sample (N = 92), the proposed enhancing impact of self-relevant and delusion-relevant scenarios on hasty decision-making was corroborated, F(2, 160) = 25.26, p < 0.01, partial n2 = 0.24. The Social Beads Task could therefore be a useful tool in delusion research that allows the investigation of cognitive biases in social scenarios.

Table of Contents
  Data analysis plan
  Convergent and divergent validity
  Analysis of variance
  Intercorrelations of dependent variables
Appendix A: Rater instructions for self-relevant, delusion-relevant and neutral scenarios.

Correspondence to
Dr. Stefan Westermann, Department of Medicine, Philipps-University Marburg, Rudolf-Bultmann-Str. 8, 35039 Marburg, Germany.

jumping to conclusions; decision-making; beads task; social reasoning; delusion

Received 3 Oct 2011; Revised 28 Jan 2012; Accepted 8 Feb 2012; In Press 23 Sep 2012

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