Paranoid beliefs and self-criticism in students



Paranoid beliefs are associated with negative and malevolent views of others. This study, however, explored hostile and compassionate self-to-self relating in regard to paranoid beliefs. A total of 131 students were given a series of scales measuring paranoid ideation, forms and functions of self-criticism, self-reassurance, self-compassion and depression. Test scores were subjected to correlation and hierarchical regression analyses to explore the relative contribution of study variables to paranoid beliefs.

In this population, paranoid beliefs were associated with forms and functions of self-criticism, especially self-hating and self-persecution. Paranoid beliefs were negatively correlated with self-kindness and abilities to be self-reassuring. These variables were also associated with depression (as were paranoid beliefs). A hierarchical regression found that self-hatred remained a predictor of paranoid ideation even after controlling for depression and self-reassurance. Paranoid beliefs seem to be associated with a critical and even hating experience of self. These inner experiences of self may be profitable targets for therapeutic interventions. Copyright © 2007 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.