Horita Y. (2023).

Horita Y.(堀田結孝) (2023). 
Paranoid thinking and perceived competitive intention. 
PeerJ, 11:e15003

Paranoid thinking, that others are hostile, can be seen even in the general population. Paranoia is considered the expectation that others are competitors who aim to maximize the differences in payoffs rather than maximize their own payoffs. This study examined whether paranoia reflects the irrational belief that others have a competitive intention and is associated with avoiding perceived competition. We recruited 884 US residents via the Internet and conducted a modified Dictator Game, in which monetary allocation was carried out between the Dictator and the Recipient. The Dictator chooses either fair or competitive allocation while selecting the competitive allocation is irrelevant to increasing the Dictator’s payoffs. The Recipient decides whether to accept the Dictator’s decision or receive sure but low rewards. We found that Recipients with high-level paranoid thinking expected their opponent to select competitive allocation more than those with low levels, even when selecting it was costly for Dictators. Paranoid thinking was not associated with selecting sure rewards or competitive allocations. The results suggest that paranoia reflects the belief that others have a competitive intention but is not related to avoidance behavior against perceived threats and unilateral attacks.