Unimpaired abduction to alien abduction: lessons on delusion formation

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An examination of alien abduction belief can inform how we ought to approach constructing explanations of monothematic delusion formation. I argue that the formation and maintenance of alien abduction beliefs can be explained by a one-factor account, and that this explanatory power generalizes to (other) cases of monothematic delusions. There are no differences between alien abduction beliefs and monothematic delusions which indicate the need for additional explanatory factors in cases of the latter. I make the additional point that whilst alien abduction beliefs can be readily explained using a one-factor framework, the two-factor framework requires adjustment to accommodate them. I conclude that theorists interested in delusion formation have much to learn from the case of alien abduction belief.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)679-704
Number of pages26
JournalPhilosophical Psychology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 24 May 2020


  • Belief
  • delusion
  • one-factor
  • rationality
  • two-factor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology
  • Philosophy


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