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J Nerv Ment Dis. 2012 Feb;200(2):147-52. doi: 10.1097/NMD.0b013e3182439533.

Predicting social functioning in schizotypy: an investigation of the relative contributions of theory of mind and mood.

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  • 1Department of Psychology, Kent State University, Kent, OH, USA.


Theory of mind (ToM) is an aspect of social cognition that refers to the ability to make inferences about the thoughts, feelings, and intentions of other people. It is believed to be related to social functioning. Previous investigations of ToM in schizotypy have yielded mixed results. Using a correlational approach, the present study explored the relationship between schizotypal traits, ToM, neurocognition, depressed mood, and social functioning in a sample of 50 undergraduate students. Schizotypy was related to poor social functioning. Contrary to predictions, schizotypal traits were not associated with impaired ToM. In fact, schizotypal traits were associated with enhanced performance on a ToM task that involved detection of ironic statements. However, strong relationships emerged among schizotypy, depressed mood, and social functioning, highlighting the need to also examine depression when assessing the relations between elevated schizotypy and poor social functioning.

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