Rationale and protocol for a systematic review and meta-analysis on reduced data gathering in people with delusions

P. J. Taylor, Paul Hutton, R Dudley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output


The tendency to form conclusions based on limited evidence is known as the ‘jumping to conclusions’ (JTC) bias, and has been a much studied phenomena in individuals with psychosis. Previous reviews have supported the hypothesis that a JTC bias is particularly linked to the formation and maintenance of delusions. A new systematic review is required as a number of studies have since been published, and older reviews are limited by not systematically assessing methodological quality or the role of study design in influencing effect size estimates. This review aimed to investigate if there is an association between psychosis or delusions and JTC bias.


The current protocol outlines the background and methodology for this systematic review and meta-analysis. Eligible articles will be identified through searches of the electronic databases PsycInfo, PubMed and Medline using relevant search terms, supplemented by hand-searches of references within eligible articles and key review articles within the field. Eligibility criteria were as follows: studies must recruit individuals with: i) schizophrenia spectrum conditions or ii) experiences of delusions. Case-control, cross-sectional, observational and prospective designs will be included but treatment trials and experimental studies excluded. Studies must use the beads task to assess JTC or a conceptually equivalent task. The outcomes will be the average number of ‘draws to a decision’ in the beads task (or related variant) and the proportion of the sample judged to demonstrate a JTC bias. Literature searches, study selection, data extraction, risk of bias assessment and outcome quality assessment will be undertaken by two independent reviewers. Meta-analyses will be undertaken for continuous (mean number of ‘draws to a decision’) and binary outcomes (number of people classified as having JTC bias).


Understanding of the size of the JTC effect and the contexts within which it occurs is important both in terms of informing models of delusional thinking and in guiding treatments for those with delusions or psychosis. However, a definitive, up-to-date review and meta-analysis of the JTC bias is currently lacking. The proposed review will fill this gap and resolve key issues regarding the factors which moderate the JTC bias.
Original languageEnglish
JournalSystematic Reviews
Issue number44
Publication statusPublished - 8 May 2014


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