This study reports the development of a self-report measure to assess metacognitive beliefs about paranoia in non-patients. We aimed to test the specific hypotheses that positive beliefs about paranoia would predict frequency of paranoia, and that negative beliefs about paranoia would predict distress associated with delusional ideation. Three-hundred and seventeen non-patient participants were asked to complete questionnaires assessing beliefs about paranoia, paranoia, dimensions of delusional ideation and trait anxiety. The results showed that four empirically distinct subscales were measured by the beliefs about paranoia scale (negative beliefs about paranoia, beliefs about paranoia as a survival strategy, general positive beliefs and normalising beliefs). The scales possessed acceptable internal consistency and were associated with the measures of paranoia, delusional ideation and anxiety. Consistent with predictions, it was found that beliefs about paranoia as a survival strategy were associated with frequency of paranoia, and negative beliefs were associated with distress associated with delusional ideation. These findings suggest that a metacognitive approach to the conceptualization of paranoia as a strategy for managing interpersonal threat may have some utility. The clinical implications of the findings are also discussed.