is our reward

Publications in Psychiatry by NOMIS researchers

NOMIS Researcher(s)

March 8, 2023

Delusions are distressing and disabling symptoms of various clinical disorders. Delusions are associated with an aberrant and apparently contradictory treatment of evidence, characterized by both excessive credulity (adopting unusual beliefs on minimal evidence) and excessive rigidity (holding steadfast to these beliefs in the face of strong counterevidence). Here we attempt to make sense of this contradiction by considering the literature on epistemic vigilance. Although there is little evolutionary advantage to scrutinizing the evidence our senses provide, it pays to be vigilant toward ostensive evidence—information communicated by others. This asymmetry is generally adaptive, but in deluded individuals the scales tip too far in the direction of the sensory and perceptual, producing an apparently paradoxical combination of credulity (with respect to one’s own perception) and skepticism (with respect to the testimony of others). © The Author(s) 2023.

Research field(s)
Health Sciences, Psychology & Cognitive Sciences, Experimental Psychology