Brief ReportsAre Theory of Mind Deficits in Understanding Intentions of Others Associated With Persecutory Delusions?Mehl, Stephanie MSc*†; Rief, Winfried PhD†; Lüllmann, Eva MSc†; Ziegler, Michael PhD†‡; Kesting, Marie-Luise MSc†; Lincoln, Tania Marie PhD† Author Information *Department of Psychiatry, Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-University, Bonn, Germany; †Department of Clinical Psychology, Philipps-University, Marburg, Germany; and ‡Hospital of Forensic Psychiatry, Haina, Germany. Supported by a grant from the German Research Foundation (Li1298/3–1) (to T.M.L. et al.). Send reprint requests to Stephanie Mehl, PhD, Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-University Bonn, Sigmund-Freud-Str. 25, 53105 Bonn, Germany. E-mail: [email protected] or [email protected]. The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease: July 2010 - Volume 198 - Issue 7 - p 516-519 doi: 10.1097/NMD.0b013e3181e4c8d2 Buy Metrics Abstract The purpose of this study was to investigate the association of the Theory of Mind ability to infer intentions of others and delusions in patients with schizophrenia-spectrum disorders. In a cross-sectional design, patients with acute persecutory delusions (PD) (n = 33), patients with remitted persecutory delusions (PD-rem) (n = 25), and non-clinical controls (n = 58) completed a movie task, in which they had to infer the characters’ intentions and emotions and a false-belief task. Delusions were rated by observers and by the patients. Patients with PD were specifically impaired in the ability to infer intentions compared with patients with remitted delusions and controls. The ability to infer intentions predicted a significant amount of variance in delusions, even when executive functioning was controlled. Implications for models explaining the development and maintenance of delusions are discussed. © 2010 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.