In Niall Galbraith (ed.), Aberrant Beliefs and Reasoning. Psychology Press. pp. 34-54 (2015)

Lisa Bortolotti
University of Birmingham
Matthew Broome
University of Birmingham
Kengo Miyazono
Hokkaido University
The two-factor theory (Davies, Coltheart, Langdon & Breen 2001; Coltheart 2007; Coltheart, Menzies & Sutton 2010) is an influential account of delusion formation. According to the theory, there are two distinct factors that are causally responsible for delusion formation. The first factor is supposed to explain the content of the delusion, while the second factor is supposed to explain why the delusion is adopted and maintained. Recently, another remarkable account of delusion formation has been proposed, in which the notion of “prediction error” plays the central role (Fletcher & Frith 2009; Corlett, Krystal, Taylor & Fletcher 2009; Corlett, Taylor, Wang, Fletcher & Krystal 2010). According to this account, the prediction-error theory, delusions are formed in response to aberrant prediction-error signals, those signals that indicate a mismatch between expectation and actual experience. In this chapter, we examine the relationship between the two-factor theory and the prediction-error theory in some detail. Our view is that the prediction-error theory does not have to be understood as a rival to the two-factor theory. We do not deny that there are some important differences between them. However, those differences are not as significant as they have been presented in the literature. Moreover, the core ideas of the prediction-error theory may be incorporated into the two- factor framework. For instance, the aberrant prediction-error signal that is posited by prediction-error theorists can be (or underlie) the first factor contributing to the formation of some delusions, and help explain the content of those delusions. Alternatively, the aberrant prediction-error signal can be (or underlie) the second factor, and help explain why the delusion is adopted and maintained.
Keywords delusions  beliefs  two-factor theory  prediction-error theory
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