University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
Place of Publication
Schizophrenia affects 1% of the US population. It is characterized by positive symptoms like paranoia, and hallucinations and negative symptoms like flattened affect, and reduced speech. Stressors like income, crime, diet, and trauma can epigenetically cause schizophrenia. However, is it possible that "schizophrenic" behavior is not indicative of impending psychosis but rather a coping mechanism to environmental stressors? Here, I explore how paranoia could function as a coping mechanism to two stressors-- poverty and crime --through a computer-simulation of the Iterated Prisoner’s Dilemma. Results: paranoia was directly related to increased crime, regardless of poverty level. Crime is also directly related to poverty. Poverty could be an indirect cause of paranoia. In no-crime neighborhoods, individuals in poverty showed less paranoia than did those in high-income areas. Therefore, individuals in poorer areas with higher crime display paranoia in response to a dangerous environment, not as a potential indication of schizophrenia
"An Exploration Of The Relation between Neighborhood Resource, Crime, And The Development Of Paranoia.,"
Modern Psychological Studies: Vol. 28:
1, Article 4.
Available at: https://scholar.utc.edu/mps/vol28/iss1/4