British Journal of Clinical Psychology

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Volume 45 Issue 3 (September 2006), Pages 279-438

The role of meta‐cognitions and thought control techniques in predisposition to auditory and visual hallucinations (pages 309-317)

Objectives. This study examines the relationship between a predisposition to hallucinations and meta‐cognitive variables and thought‐control techniques, controlling for the possible effect of anxiety. In order to do so, we start out with the hypothesis that anxiety does not, in itself, explain the association between meta‐cognitions and a predisposition to auditory and visual hallucinations.

Design. A within‐participants correlational design was employed.

Methods. Four psychometric tests relating to predisposition to hallucinations, anxiety, meta‐cognitions and thought‐control techniques were administered to 150 participants.

Results. It was found that, after controlling for participants' anxiety levels, the ‘loss of cognitive confidence’ factor predicted the score on the scale of predisposition to both auditory and visual hallucinations. Thought‐control strategies based on worry were also found to be predictive of a greater predisposition to hallucinations, regardless of whether or not participants' anxiety level was controlled.

Conclusions. Meta‐cognitive variables of cognitive confidence and thought control through worry are positively associated with a predisposition to hallucinations.

Limitations. The correlational nature of the design does not allow inferences about causal relationships.

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