A linguistic approach to the psychosis continuum: (dis)similarities and (dis)continuities in how clinical and non-clinical voice-hearers talk about their voices

Collins, Luke C., Semino, Elena, Demjén, Zsófia, Hardie, Andrew, Moseley, Peter, Woods, Angela and Alderson-Day, Ben (2020) A linguistic approach to the psychosis continuum: (dis)similarities and (dis)continuities in how clinical and non-clinical voice-hearers talk about their voices. Cognitive Neuropsychiatry, 25 (6). pp. 447-465. ISSN 1354-6805

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1080/13546805.2020.1842727

Abstract

Introduction: “Continuum” approaches to psychosis have generated reports of similarities and differences in voice-hearing in clinical and non-clinical populations at the cohort level, but not typically examined overlap or degrees of difference between groups. Methods: We used a computer-aided linguistic approach to explore reports of voice-hearing by a clinical group (Early Intervention in Psychosis service-users; N = 40) and a non-clinical group (spiritualists; N = 27). We identify semantic categories of terms statistically overused by one group compared with the other, and by each group compared to a control sample of non-voice-hearing interview data (log likelihood (LL) value 6.63+=p < .01; effect size measure: log ratio 1.0+). We consider whether individual values support a continuum model.
Results: Notwithstanding significant cohort-level differences, there was considerable continuity in language use. Reports of negative affect were prominent in both groups (p < .01, log ratio: 1.12+). Challenges of cognitive control were also evident in both cohorts, with references to “disengagement” accentuated in service-users (p < .01, log ratio: 1.14+). Conclusion: A corpus linguistic approach to voice-hearing provides new evidence of differences between clinical and non-clinical groups. Variability at the individual level provides substantial evidence of continuity with implications for cognitive mechanisms underlying voice-hearing.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Psychosis, continuum, corpus linguistics, auditory verbal hallucinations, voice-hearing
Subjects: C800 Psychology
Q100 Linguistics
Department: Faculties > Health and Life Sciences > Psychology
Depositing User: John Coen
Date Deposited: 15 Dec 2020 10:32
Last Modified: 15 Dec 2020 10:45
URI: http://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/44987

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