The paranoid person: Cognitive motivations and personality traits

Shulamith Kreitler*, Hans Kreitler

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The purpose was to contribute to a better understanding of the personality structure and dynamics of paranoia. In study 1, 29 paranoid patients and three control groups (30 schizophrenics, 27 depressives, and 64 healthy subjects) were administered the Cognitive Orientation (CO) Questionnaire of Paranoia, which included beliefs of four types (goals, norms, about self, and general) referring to 44 themes (e.g. masculinity, strength). Discriminant analyses (based on longer and shorter versions of the questionnaire) showed that the four belief types enabled significant discrimination among the four groups and that there is a CO based on themes and conflicts characteristic for paranoia. In Study 2, 31 paranoids and 31 healthy controls were administered the Meaning Test which yielded prevalidated scores for 124 personality traits. The results showed that paranoids have a clear-cut personality profile, with traits in clinical (e.g. obsessive), interpersonal (e.g. extravert, leadership), emotional, cognitive, and other domains. The findings are integrated and the convergences between the behavioral tendencies and personality traits specified, in an attempt to identify the major features of the paranoid, including potential dangers and therapeutic chances.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)101-132
Number of pages32
JournalEuropean Journal of Personality
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1997


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