Objective: Two types of paranoia have been identified, namely persecution (or ‘Poor Me’) paranoia, and punishment (or ‘Bad Me’) paranoia. This research tests predicted differences in phenomenology – specifically, in person evaluative beliefs, self-esteem, depression, anxiety, and anger. Method: Fifty-three people with current paranoid beliefs were classified as Poor Me, Bad Me, or neither (classification was reliable). Key dependent variables were measured. Results: All predictions were supported, except the one relating to anger, where the two groups did not differ. The Bad Me group had lower self-esteem, more negative self-evaluative thinking, lower negative evaluations about others, higher depression and anxiety. Importantly, the differences in self-esteem and self-evaluations were not fully accounted for by differences in depression. Conclusion: Data support the presence of two distinct topographies of paranoia. Future research is needed to explore the theory further and examine clinical implications.

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