Cognitive models for delusions
Cognitive theories of delusions can be used to provide a link between the biological and phenomenological explanations of schizophrenia and its symptomatology. False beliefs held with absolute certainty despite evidence to the contrary and out of keeping with the patient's social, educational, cultural and religious background. There are also many bizarre, unscientific beliefs held by a large proportion of the population, for example, beliefs in telepathy, poltergeists, alien abduction, and horoscopes. Theory of Mind is essentially the capacity to understand one's own and other people's mental states, such as beliefs, feelings or intentions. Some people may be more prone to certain beliefs, for example that people are talking about them, when they are in a particularly vulnerable state of mind. Externalisation and personalisation are linked to a theory of mind deficit which is probably best described as a pervasive problem in empathy.