A new instrument designed to assess paranoid thought in college students, together with reliability and validity data, was presented in Study 1. A single general factor accounted for a substantial portion of the variance in the full scale. Public self-consciousness was consistently and significantly correlated with the present measure of paranoia. In Study 2, both pretested paranoia and public self-consciousness were related to feelings of being watched (a classical manifestation of paranoia), although public self-consciousness had an effect only when there was a 2-way mirror present. In Study 3, self-attention, experimentally induced using a story construction task, again resulted in a heightened sense of being observed. Discussion focuses on paranoid cognition as characteristic of everyday thought and the implications of self-attention for social perception processes.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Social Psychology
- Sociology and Political Science