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Different Components of Metacognition and their Relationship to Psychotic-Like Experiences

  • Clare Reeder (a1), Teuta Rexhepi-Johansson (a1) and Til Wykes (a1)

Background: Theories of the development of psychotic symptoms have suggested that metacognitive beliefs might play a part. However, studies offering supporting evidence have failed to distinguish between metacognitive beliefs about the consequences of having certain thoughts, and metacognitive beliefs about one's own cognitive skills. Aims: To distinguish metacognitive beliefs and investigate the extent of their association with psychotic-like experiences. Method: Participants were 60 healthy adults recruited primarily from two university campuses. Three measures of metacognition were administered: (i) Metacognitions Questionnaire (MCQ-30); (ii) Metacognitive Assessment Inventory; and (iii) Koriat General Questions Test; and two schizotypy questionnaires: O-Life and SPQ-B and data were analysed using an exploratory principal components analysis of the metacognition measures. Results: Three principal components were identified: (i) Beliefs about thoughts; (ii) Cognitive confidence; and (iii) Beliefs about cognitive regulation. Only the “beliefs about thoughts” component was significantly associated with the “psychotic-like experiences” factor, extracted from the measures of schizotypy. Conclusions: The finding supports theories suggesting that psychotic symptoms may be caused in part by negative metacognitive beliefs about thoughts. However, metacognition is a complex construct that is currently poorly understood.

Corresponding author
Reprint requests to Clare Reeder, PO77, Department of Psychology, Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London, De Crespigny Park, Denmark Hill, London SE5 8AF, UK. E-mail:
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Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapy
  • ISSN: 1352-4658
  • EISSN: 1469-1833
  • URL: /core/journals/behavioural-and-cognitive-psychotherapy
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