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Psychiatry Investig > Epub ahead of print
[Epub ahead of print]
DOI:    Published online March 7, 2019.
Discrepancies of Implicit and Explicit Self-Esteem as Predictors of Attributional Bias and Paranoia
You Jin Park1, Jin Young Park2,3, Kyung-Mi Chung2,3, Yul-Mai Song4, Kyungun Jhung1
1Department of Psychiatry, Catholic Kwandong University College of Medicine, International St. Mary’s Hospital, Incheon, Republic of Korea
2Department of Psychiatry, Gangnam Severance Hospital, Yonsei University Health System, Seoul, Republic of Korea
3Department of Psychiatry and Institute of Behavioral Science in Medicine, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, Republic of Korea
4Department of Education, National Center for Mental Health, Seoul, Republic of Korea
Correspondence: Kyungun Jhung ,Tel: +82-32-290-3878, Fax: +82-32-290-3879, Email:
Received: October 8, 2018   Revised: November 30, 2018   Accepted: December 24, 2018   Published online: March 7, 2019

The current study aimed to examine the association of implicit self-esteem, explicit self-esteem and their interaction with paranoia and attributional bias. The relationship of the size and the direction of the discrepancy between implicit and explicit self-esteem with paranoia and attributional bias was examined.
A total of 128 female college students participated. We administered the Implicit Association Test to assess implicit self-esteem, and the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale to measure explicit self-esteem. Paranoia Scale was used, and the attributional bias was assessed using the Ambiguous Intentions Hostility Questionnaire.
Results showed that explicit but not implicit self-esteem was negatively associated with paranoia, blame bias and hostility perception bias in ambiguous situations. The interaction of implicit and explicit self-esteem was associated with hostility perception in ambiguous situations. As for the discrepancy, the size of the discrepancy between implicit and explicit self-esteem was positively associated with hostility perception in ambiguous situations. Moreover, the direction of the discrepancy was specifically relevant: damaged self-esteem (high implicit and low explicit self-esteem) was associated with increased levels of paranoia, blame bias and hostility perception in ambiguous situations.
These findings provide new insights into the role of the implicit and explicit self-esteem in attributional bias and paranoia and point to damaged self-esteem as a possible vulnerability marker for illogical attribution of blaming others and perceiving hostility in social situations.
Key words   Implicit self-esteem, Explicit self-esteem, Self-esteem discrepancy, Attributional bias, Paranoia
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