Doctorate in Clinical Psychology: Main Research Portfolio
: 1) Men's experiences of disclosing childhood sexual abuse in adulthood: a qualitative meta-synthesis; 2) Development of an online roadmap of psychological support in collaboration with mental health service users; 3) Data-gathering style in individuals with autism spectrum conditions: an examination of its relationship with paranoia using the beads task.

  • Kristina Bennert

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Clinical Psychology (DClinPsy)


ndividuals with Autism Spectrum Conditions (ASC) have been found to experience higher levels of paranoia than the general population. However, cognitive mechanisms involved in its development and maintenance may differ from those suggested for typically developed individuals with persecutory ideation. A reasoning bias in the form of reduced data-gathering (‘jumping-to-conclusions’, or JTC bias) has been proposed as a contributory factor for paranoia in people with psychosis and non-clinical populations. Data-gathering style was investigated in 39 adults with ASC and 64 typically developed controls using two probabilistic reasoning tasks: the beads task and an emotionally salient equivalent. Despite higher levels of paranoia, the ASC group requested more information and were less likely to show a JTC bias than the typically develop group. Results suggest that data-gathering style may not be a contributory factor for paranoia in autism, consistent with the proposal of a differential cognitive structure of paranoia in individuals with ASC.
Date of Award8 Sept 2017
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Bath
SupervisorJames Gregory (Supervisor)

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