Interpersonal complementarity in responses to auditory hallucinations in psychosis

Thomas, N., McLeod, H.J. and Brewin, C.R. (2009) Interpersonal complementarity in responses to auditory hallucinations in psychosis. British Journal of Clinical Psychology, 48(4), pp. 411-424. (doi: 10.1348/014466509X411937)

Full text not currently available from Enlighten.

Publisher's URL:


Objectives. Models of interpersonal relating have proposed that people are drawn to respond to others according to a principle of complementarity, whereby perceived hostility elicits reciprocal hostility and perceived dominance elicits submission. This study examined interpersonal appraisals and responses to auditory hallucinations, to determine whether this principle predicts how patients respond to hallucinated voices. Design and methods. Thirty-five participants with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder rated their internal ‘relationship’ with their auditory verbal hallucinations using the Structural Analysis of Social Behaviour, in addition to completing measures of voice-related distress and depression. Results. Participants were able to ascribe almost the full range of interpersonal relating behaviours to their voices reliably, with some notable exceptions for voices' ‘responses’ to being directly addressed. Appraisals of voice hostility very strongly predicted reciprocal hostile responses, but perceptions of voice control were only weakly associated with submission to voices. Perceived voice hostility was also associated with voice-related distress and perceived voice control was associated with depression. Conclusions. Individual differences in responses to auditory hallucinations appear to reflect normal interpersonal responses to appraisals of voice hostility and affiliation. However, voice hearers do not readily submit to voice control and other factors may be of importance in determining this response.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:McLeod, Professor Hamish
Authors: Thomas, N., McLeod, H.J., and Brewin, C.R.
Subjects:B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Health & Wellbeing > Mental Health and Wellbeing
College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Medicine, Dentistry & Nursing
Journal Name:British Journal of Clinical Psychology
Published Online:24 December 2010

University Staff: Request a correction | Enlighten Editors: Update this record