Measurement of delusional ideation in the normal population: introducing the PDI (Peters et al. Delusions Inventory)

Schizophr Bull. 1999;25(3):553-76. doi: 10.1093/oxfordjournals.schbul.a033401.


The Peters et al. Delusions Inventory (PDI) was designed to measure delusional ideation in the normal population, using the Present State Examination as a template. The multidimensionality of delusions was incorporated by assessing measures of distress, preoccupation, and conviction. Individual items were endorsed by one in four adults on average. No sex differences were found, and an inverse relationship with age was obtained. Good internal consistency was found, and its concurrent validity was confirmed by the percentages of common variance with three scales measuring schizotypy, magical ideation, and delusions. PDI scores up to 1 year later remained consistent, establishing its test-retest reliability. Psychotic inpatients had significantly higher scores, establishing its criterion validity. The ranges of scores between the normal and deluded groups overlapped considerably, consistent with the continuity view of psychosis. The two samples were differentiated by their ratings on the distress, preoccupation, and conviction scales, confirming the necessity for a multidimensional analysis of delusional thinking. Possible avenues of research using this scale and its clinical utility are highlighted.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Delusions / diagnosis*
  • Delusions / epidemiology
  • Delusions / psychology
  • England / epidemiology
  • Factor Analysis, Statistical
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales* / standards
  • Psychometrics / methods*
  • Psychometrics / standards
  • Psychotic Disorders / psychology
  • Reference Values
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Sampling Studies
  • Schizotypal Personality Disorder / psychology
  • Superstitions*
  • Thinking / classification*