The Beliefs about Voices Questionnaire – Revised: A factor structure from 450 participants

Clara Strauss, Kenneth Hugdahl, Flavie Waters, Mark Hayward, Josef J. Bless, Liv E. Falkenberg, Bodil Kråkvik, Arve Egil Asbjørnsen, Erik Johnsen, Igne Sinkeviciute, Rune A. Kroken, Else Marie Løberg, Neil Thomas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


Hallucinated voices are common across psychiatric and non-clinical groups. The predominant cognitive theory about the impact of voices posits that beliefs about voice power (‘Omnipotence’) and voice intent (‘Malevolence’/‘Benevolence’) play a key role in determining emotional and behavioral reactions. The revised Beliefs about Voices Questionnaire (BAVQ-R) was designed to assess these constructs, together with two styles of responding (Engagement and Resistance). The BAVQ-R is widely used in clinical and research settings, yet it has not received validation of its constructs and factor structure. This study examined the factor structure of the BAVQ-R by combining datasets from five study centers, comprising 450 participants (belief constructs) and 269 participants (response styles), and using confirmatory and exploratory factor analysis. Findings failed to support a three factor belief model, instead showing a two-factor structure (‘Persecutory beliefs’ combining Omnipotence and Malevolence constructs, and a Benevolent construct). Emotional and behavioral items did not separate. Overall, results showed that (i) a two-factor model of beliefs (Persecutory and Benevolent beliefs) provides a better fit to the data than a three-factor model, and (ii) emotional and behavioral modes of responding items should not be separated. Theoretical implications of this finding are discussed in relation to the research and therapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)95-103
Number of pages9
JournalPsychiatry Research
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2018


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