Is paranoia a defence against or an expression of low self-esteem?
Article first published online: 26 OCT 2010
Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
European Journal of Personality
Volume 25, Issue 5, pages 326–335, September/October 2011
How to Cite
Cicero, D. C. and Kerns, J. G. (2011), Is paranoia a defence against or an expression of low self-esteem?. Eur. J. Pers., 25: 326–335. doi: 10.1002/per.794
- Issue published online: 21 SEP 2011
- Article first published online: 26 OCT 2010
- Manuscript Accepted: 6 SEP 2010
- Manuscript Revised: 26 JUL 2010
- Manuscript Received: 14 JAN 2010
- implicit measures;
- self-concept and self-esteem;
- attributional style;
- self-competence and self-liking
Paranoia has been hypothesized to be negatively correlated with self-esteem. However, hypotheses differ about how low self-esteem might produce paranoia. The paranoia as defense model views paranoia as a defensive reaction against low self-esteem. In contrast, the paranoia as expression model views paranoia in part as a reflection of low self-esteem. In the current study, paranoia was negatively associated with global explicit self-esteem, self-competence, self-liking and self-serving attributional style, but unassociated with implicit self-esteem as measured with the Implicit Association Test. In contrast, facets of narcissism, which also have been hypothesized to be associated with defensive self-processing, were associated with defensiveness. Overall, these results suggest that paranoia is better represented by the expression model. Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.