Revista Colombiana de Psiquiatría
Print version ISSN 0034-7450
FIERRO URRESTA, Marco; GIRALDO, Laura Victoria and MOLINA BULLA, Carlos. The Theory of Delusions as False Beliefs and the Conviction and Incorrigibility of Psychic Phenomena. rev.colomb.psiquiatr. [online]. 2009, vol.38, n.2, pp. 338-357. ISSN 0034-7450.
Introduction: The theory of delusions as false beliefs is predominant in psychiatry at least since 1950. It is the basis for the definition proposed in the DSM IV. When discussed in detail it is found that explanations about emergence, perpetuating factors, and the way delusions disappear do not derive from this theory. The present article discusses this theory and finds that every item mentioned has notorious conceptual, empirical and pragmatic problems. Method: Considering that characterizing delusions is very difficult, the idea that they are beliefs accompanied by conviction and incorrigibility is put aside and instead, psychological phenomena associated with thinking, memory, perception and emotion are analyzed in order to see which of them has anything to say about something at least similar to these two traits. Conclusion: Only in somatic perceptions and emotions can incorrigibility and conviction be found in the sense that there is no intersubjective accepted evidence or argument that leads to whom experienced them to admit an error in content or in their qualitative aspect. Somatic perceptions and emotions function as delusions and they constitute good candidates to be nominated as key elements in shaping them.
Keywords : Delusions; emotions; delirium; perceptual distortion.