The Dunning–Kruger effect

For those of you who suffer from grandiose delusions to what extent do you think poor judgement and cognitive impairment as a result of psychosis are responsible for the feelings of personal superiority or specialness which you experience?

I thought I was something special for years. So I stayed off my meds even though I knew I was sz/a. I took recreational drugs recklessly. It made everything worse. Including what you said. I’m doing well now though that I’m sober and on three great meds.

What meds are you on? I know on another post you said you are on latuda… Can I guess…you’re on latuda abilify and zyprexa. Could you tell me if I’m right?

No I’m on abilify…latuda was an old post

I’m also on naltrexone and klonopin

All three meds help immensely and are necessary

I’m inclined to think of grandiose delusions more of as an affective issue than a cognitive one. But idk, when I had these so much was going on, its a mess really, and these ordinary categories may not even capture it.

In my case, there was a grandiose aspect to my delusions, like being chosen, but it seems to me this was secondary, in that it followed from my telepathy delusion, and not the other way around. If it was a cognitive impairment, it would have been a local impairment restricted to the topics and themes of my delusion. This is possible since it was very disturbing to me and it has been shown emotionally heavy content can affect reasoning - and does so even more in sz - so why not metacognition. So in that sense, it could have been.

I’m pretty confident there was no serious general cognitive impairment, for I was able to do some academic stuff at similar level as before in terms of grades. Which was a pain obviously, but would be simply impossible with a serious general cognitive impairment I suppose.

I think my cognitive ability, not disability, makes me think I am “special”.


One thing I’ve noticed during my time reading posts on this forum is that even the most grounded psychologically resilient sz sufferer seems to be vulnerable to losing insight at some point during the psychosis. I think that the moment you lose insight into where the strange thoughts and feelings are coming from…that’s the point where grandiose delusions begin to develop.

I think the high prevalence of grandiose delusions among sz sufferers can be explained by looking at the mental tendencies of the sufferer. People get concerned either with their primal fears (I’m being watched, someone is trying to poison me, there is some kind of conspiracy taking place) or with matters which are very important to people regardless of their mental state (religious experiences, demonology, taboo or inappropriate situations and impulses, the potential of violence from the self or others.)

I think it wouldn’t be a waste of energy for clinicians to start evaluating schizophrenics based on the obvious thought patterns which are characteristic of the different delusions I mentioned. Maybe they could treat psychosis better if they understood the origins and psychological background which produces the delusions.

One case where a sufferer describes the elaborate delusion they suffer from:

I really found this description interesting. It reminds me of my experiences of meeting other schizophrenics who have had analogous mental processes.

I have a lot of grandiose delusions but have never felt superior to anyone. Quite the opposite - I still don’t know if I accept them as delusions though. I have debated that with myself over and over - and I will never know for sure until the end of times if i was delusional or not.

I won’t go into what my so called delusions are because this thread would then have to be move to Unusual. But you can view mine by clicking on the unusual category and search my username if you want.

I am a guide only and as such could never be superior.

There is quite some research out there that tries to do this, but maybe in a bit of a different way than you have in mind.

Many hypotheses about the development and maintenance of delusions take the form of ‘two-factor’ accounts of delusion. The idea is that beliefs are inferred from experiences or other beliefs. The first factor in such theories corresponds to an unusual experience, due to some neurobiological anomaly. This is thought to account for (the ‘need’ for) a delusion to arise - delusions would serve to the subject as ways of making sense of this unusual experience.

Then the second factor in such theories is a cognitive one. It is a matter of debate, whether, assuming they have this status as explanatory hypotheses to the subject, they are rational hypotheses. It is often wondered, why does one not hypothesize or conclude there is some problem/illness of perception or other experience, but instead develops a sometimes very unlikely delusion. This is what the second, cognitive factor is taken to account for: some deficit/bias in selecting and treating evidence, in updating the belief system,

These possible biases are being studied, but typically in a bit of a different setting then you might have had in mind. Standardized, short reasoning tasks (perhaps simple, but no less difficult even for neurotypicals who might fail on them). Some studies have looked into how emotionally triggering content affects reasoning. Such that, they would present a couple of reasoning tasks, some of which were considered neutral by the researchers (idk, reasoning about flowers or something), others of which are considered emotionally laden, for example tasks involving aggressive themes, pictures of angry faces and so on. When charged in this way, typically we sz tend to make some mistakes in some ways of reasoning. It is such kinds of studies I was talking about.

For neutral tasks, the studies do not agree, so idk what to say. I posted an article a week or two ago, that reviews quite some studies about reasoning and logic in sz, which concluded an across the board reasoning deficit in sz is yet to be confirmed. (of course, individual cases may suffer such problems).

But in this context, what you might have in mind becomes very interesting I agree. It would be somewhat of a qualitative study. For if emotionally charged content affects reasoning, as it seems to, what content would be most emotionally charged? Some random angry face, or, I am inclined to say, the content of the particular delusion that, if it is anything like my psychoses, your life more or less depends on? Idk about you, but my delusions were not some beliefs operating in the background. They took centre stage and my whole world revolved around them, so to speak. If anything is emotionally laden, these would be I suppose. So add these together, and it is quite plausible that ‘local’ reasoning errors are being made because of the affective dimension of delusional experiences.

There is a bit of a problem for such kind of research though. Perhaps an ethical one. It is a bit of a maxim not to engage directly with the delusions of someone acutely psychotic. It is thought that can validate the delusions. This is actually (related to) a topic I pursue academic research in.

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i dont know iif thiis is grandeur but i believe i have extra sensory perceptioons and that i am special and chosn for these powers

I think that’s delusions of grandeur but it surely doesn’t make you a bad person!



i just believe that i have this extra sense. i sense the demons everywhere . i can sense their energy…like i realized one demon is the thing that put something in my head. how would i know all of this otherwise?? we are in constant spiritual battle with the universe and the demons here trapped. really spirits. i know believing in spirits and ■■■■ is one thing a lot of people believe “normally” believe? sorry i got off on a tangent

I used to be into demonology as well in my delusions. I was convinced people had cast a satanic spell on me which was going to make me become gay. I was seeing secret messages in the ads at the sides of web pages and I was piecing together all these secret subplots. It got so intricate after a while! I’ve definitely been able to come back to sanity with the help of medications but I remember what it was like on the other side. The world seemed so hostile and volatile.

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I think I’m a duke. The affective content of my delusions is much stronger than the cognitive ones. I feel I am a small person and want to aggrandize myself in order to feel important. I DO compare myself to important people like the president and feel I am just as smart as he is. I have gotten a lot better practicing Buddhism. If I think I am better than other people, it is happening less and less. As I read your first post and your further posts, I don’t understand some of the things you are saying. The language is unclear. The speech is too complicated and somewhat stilted. Maybe this is one of my cognitive deficits?

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