How is it that many schizophrenics identify certain instances of verbal imagery as hallucinatory? Most investigators have assumed that alterations in sensory features of imagery explain this. This approach, however, has not yielded a definitive picture of the nature of verbal hallucinations. An alternative perspective suggests itself if one allows the possibility that the nonself quality of hallucinations is inferred on the basis of the experience of unintendedness that accompanies imagery production. Information-processing models of “intentional” cognitive processes call for abstract (...) planning representations that are linked to goals and beliefs. Unintended actions - and imagery - can reflect planning disruptions whereby cognitive products do not cohere with concurrent goals. A model of schizophrenic speech disorganization is presented that postulates a disturbance of discourse planning. Insofar as verbal imagery can be viewed as inwardly directed speech, a consequence of such planning disturbances could be the production of unintended imagery. This link between the outward disorganization of schizophrenic speech and unintended verbal imagery is statistically supported by comparing the speech behavior of hallucinating and nonhallucinating schizophrenics. Studies of “borderline” hallucinations during normal, “goal-less” relaxation and drowsiness suggest that experiential unintendedness leads to a nonpathological variant of hallucinatory otherness that is correctable upon emerging from such passive cognitive states. This contrasts with the schizophrenic case, where nonconcordance with cognitive goals reinforces the unintendedness of verbal images and sustains the conviction of an external source. This model compares favorably with earlier models of verbal hallucinations and provides further evidence for a language production disorder in many schizophrenics.Short Abstract: How is it that many schizophrenics identify certain instances of verbal imagery as hallucinatory? This paper proposes that the critical feature identifying hallucinations is the experience of unintendedness. This experience is nonpathological during passive conscious states but pathological if occurring during goal-directed cognitive processing. A model of schizophrenic speech disorganization is presented that postulates a disturbance of discourse planning that specifies communicative intentions. These alterations could generate unintended verbal imagery as well. Statistical data are offered to support the model, and relevant empirical studies are reviewed. (shrink)
The present study examined the effects of thought suppression on sleep-onset mentation. It was hypothesized that the decrease of attentional control in the transition to sleep would lead to a rebound of a suppressed thought in hypnagogic mentation. Twenty-four young adults spent two consecutive nights in a sleep laboratory. Half of the participants were instructed to suppress a target thought, whereas the other half freely thought of anything at all. To assess target thought frequency, three different measures were used in (...) the wake state and mentation reports were repeatedly prompted by a computer at sleep onset. In support of the hypothesis, results revealed a reversal of target thought frequency at sleep onset: Participants instructed to suppress reported fewer target thoughts than did controls before falling asleep, but more target thoughts afterwards. (shrink)
Professional ethics, a contemporary topic of conversation among business professionals, is discussed using the perceptions of college business students as the focal point. This research relates to the issues of college instruction in professional ethics, differences in perceptions of ethical behavior attributed to gender, and whether or not students' perceptions of ethical behavior can be modified. After presenting a review of the more important historical developments and research related to professional ethics, this paper focuses on the results of a study (...) that compared a set of ethical responses of various groups of college students with each other. The results of hypotheses testing show an ethics maturation process from students' initial exposure to business courses through the graduate level. These tests also show that formal ethics training, i.e., a separate professional ethics course or unit is an existing course, is not a significant factor in this process. However, one may conclude that the students' perceptions of proper ethical behavior matures toward society's expectations during college life. (shrink)
Multidisciplinary studies indicate that auditory hallucinations may arise from speech perception neurocircuitry without disrupted theory of mind capacities. Computer simulations of excessive pruning in speech perception neural networks provide a model for these hallucinations and demonstrate that connectivity reductions just below a “psychotogenic threshold” enhance information processing. These data suggest a process whereby vulnerability to schizophrenia is maintained in the human population despite reproductive disadvantages of this illness.
Although the so-called "pragmatic" test of truth--the idea that the truth of a statement is a function of its predictive value--is usually credited to william james, we possess a version of this truth-test from the third-century b c in the philosophy of carneades of cyrene, the head of the skeptical "middle academy". like james, carneades denied the existence of absolute truth, in the sense of a truth which no further experience could change, offering instead a criterion of probability, the highest (...) form of which is "the probable and tested". (shrink)
Although Freud's merits may be readily acknowledged in the year of his 150th birthday, recent findings on repression-related phenomena cannot be accommodated by his classic conception, on which Erdelyi's theory is built. This point is illustrated by discussing the role of inhibitory processes. The unified theory of repression should be elaborated to generate falsifiable predictions on the reported phenomena.