Jumping to conclusions in schizophrenia

Simon Evans, Bruno Averbeck, Nicholas Furl

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Schizophrenia is a mental disorder associated with a variety of symptoms including hallucinations, delusions, social withdrawal and cognitive dysfunction. Impairments on decision making tasks are routinely reported: evidence points to a particular deficit in learning from and revising behavior following feedback. Also, patients tend to make hasty decisions when probabilistic judgements are required. This is known as “jumping to conclusions” (JTC) and has typically been demonstrated by presenting participants with coloured beads drawn from one of 2 “urns” until they claim to be sure which urn is being drawn from (the proportions of colours varies in each urn). Patients tend to make early decisions on this task, and there is evidence to suggest that a hasty decision-making style might be linked to delusion formation, and thus be of clinical relevance Various accounts have been proposed as to what underlies this behavior. In this review, we briefly introduce the disorder and the decision making deficits associated with it. We then explore the evidence for each account of JTC in the context of a wider decision-making deficit, and then go on to summarise work exploring JTC in healthy controls using pharmacological manipulations and functional imaging. Finally, we assess whether JTC might have a role in therapy.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1615—1624
Number of pages10
JournalNeuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2015

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