Background Jumping to conclusions (JTC) is associated with psychotic disorder and psychotic symptoms. If JTC represents a trait, the rate should be (i) increased in people with elevated levels of psychosis proneness such as individuals diagnosed with borderline personality disorder (BPD), and (ii) show a degree of stability over time. Methods The JTC rate was examined in 3 groups: patients with first episode psychosis (FEP), BPD patients and controls, using the Beads Task. PANSS, SIS-R and CAPE scales were used to assess positive psychotic symptoms. Four WAIS III subtests were used to assess IQ. Results A total of 61 FEP, 26 BPD and 150 controls were evaluated. 29 FEP were revaluated after one year. 44% of FEP (OR = 8.4, 95% CI: 3.9-17.9) displayed a JTC reasoning bias versus 19% of BPD (OR = 2.5, 95% CI: 0.8-7.8) and 9% of controls. JTC was not associated with level of psychotic symptoms or specifically delusionality across the different groups. Differences between FEP and controls were independent of sex, educational level, cannabis use and IQ. After one year, 47.8% of FEP with JTC at baseline again displayed JTC. Conclusions JTC in part reflects trait vulnerability to develop disorders with expression of psychotic symptoms.