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Experimental research is increasingly important in developing the understanding of paranoid thinking. An assessment measure of persecutory ideation is necessary for such work. We report the reliability and validity of the first state measure of paranoia: The State Social Paranoia Scale. The items in the measure conform to a recent definition in which persecutory thinking has the 2 elements of feared harm and perpetrator intent. The measure was tested with 164 nonclinical participants and 21 individuals at high risk of psychosis with attenuated positive symptoms. The participants experienced a social situation presented in virtual reality and completed the new measure. The State Social Paranoia Scale was found to have excellent internal reliability, adequate test-retest reliability, clear convergent validity as assessed by both independent interviewer ratings and self-report measures, and showed divergent validity with measures of positive and neutral thinking. The measure of paranoia in a recent social situation has good psychometric properties.

Original publication




Journal article


J Nerv Ment Dis

Publication Date





781 - 784


Adolescent, Adult, Aged, Delusions, Diagnosis, Computer-Assisted, Fear, Female, Humans, Intention, Male, Middle Aged, Paranoid Disorders, Personality Inventory, Phobic Disorders, Psychiatric Status Rating Scales, Psychometrics, Reproducibility of Results, Research Design, Social Behavior, Surveys and Questionnaires, User-Computer Interface