Objective: The Cognitive Biases Questionnaire for psychosis (CBQp) was developed to capture 5 cognitive distortions (jumping to conclusions, intentionalising, catastrophising, emotional reasoning, and dichotomous thinking), which are considered important for the pathogenesis of psychosis. Vignettes were adapted from the Cognitive Style Test (CST),(1) relating to "Anomalous Perceptions" and "Threatening Events" themes.
Method: Scale structure, reliability, and validity were investigated in a psychosis group, and CBQp scores were compared with those of depressed and healthy control samples.
Results: The CBQp showed good internal consistency and test-retest reliability. The 5 biases were not independent, with a 2-related factor scale providing the best fit. This structure suggests that the CBQp assesses a general thinking bias rather than distinct cognitive errors, while Anomalous Perception and Threatening Events theme scores can be used separately. Total CBQp scores showed good convergent validity with the CST, but individual biases were not related to existing tasks purporting to assess similar reasoning biases. Psychotic and depressed populations scored higher than healthy controls, and symptomatic psychosis patients scored higher than their nonsymptomatic counterparts, with modest relationships between CBQp scores and symptom severity once emotional disorders were partialled out. Anomalous Perception theme and Intentionalising bias scores showed some specificity to psychosis.
Conclusions: Overall, the CBQp has good psychometric properties, although it is likely that it measures a different construct to existing tasks, tentatively suggested to represent a bias of interpretation rather than reasoning, judgment or decision-making processes. It is a potentially useful tool in both research and clinical arenas.
Keywords: cognitive behavior therapy for psychosis; delusions; hallucinations; schizophrenia; thinking errors.