Introduction: In accounts of the two-factor theory of delusional belief, the second factor in this theory has been referred to only in the most general terms, as a failure in the processes of hypothesis evaluation, with no attempt to characterise those processes in any detail. Coltheart and Davies (. How unexpected observations lead to new beliefs: A Peircean pathway. Consciousness and Cognition, 87, 103037. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.concog.2020.103037) attempted such a characterisation, proposing a detailed eight-step model of how unexpected observations lead to new beliefs based on the concept of abductive inference as introduced by Charles Sanders Peirce. Methods: In this paper, we apply that model to the explanation of various forms of delusional belief. Results: We provide evidence that in cases of delusion there is a specific failure of the seventh step in our model: the step at which predictions from (delusional) hypotheses are considered in the light of relevant evidence. Conclusions: In the two-factor theory of delusional belief, the second factor consists of a failure to reject hypotheses in the face of disconfirmatory evidence.
- bias against disconfirmatory evidence
- Charles Sanders Peirce
- two-factor theory