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Schizophr Bull. 2010 Mar;36(2):370-80. doi: 10.1093/schbul/sbn091. Epub 2008 Jul 22.

Assessing social-cognitive deficits in schizophrenia with the Mayer-Salovey-Caruso Emotional Intelligence Test.

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  • 1Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA 15213, USA.


The emotion management subscale of the Mayer-Salovey-Caruso Emotional Intelligence Test (MSCEIT) has recently been recommended by the National Institute of Mental Health Measurement and Treatment Research to Improve Cognition in Schizophrenia committee as the sole measure of social cognition for trials of cognitive enhancement in schizophrenia, yet the psychometric properties of this subscale and the larger instrument in schizophrenia patients have not been thoroughly examined. This research presents a psychometric investigation of the MSCEIT in a sample of 64 early course outpatients with schizophrenia, schizoaffective, or schizophreniform disorder. Results demonstrated that the MSCEIT possesses adequate internal consistency reliability among its branch and total scales and that patients' branch and overall test performance was significantly below normative levels. Estimates of discriminant and concurrent validity indicated that the MSCEIT diverged from measures of neurocognitive functioning and psychopathology, but was only modestly related with objective measures of functional outcome. Convergent validity estimates suggested that, contrary to expectations, the MSCEIT did not correlate with a behavioral measure of social cognition. Finally, exploratory factor analyses suggested the possibility of a shift in the latent structure of emotional intelligence in schizophrenia, compared with studies with healthy individuals. These findings support the use of the MSCEIT as a reliable and potentially valid method of assessing the emotional components of social cognition in schizophrenia, but also point to a need for additional measurement development efforts to assess broader social-cognitive domains that may exhibit stronger relations with functional outcome. Further investigation is warranted to examine the instrument's latent factor structure and convergence with other measures of social cognition.

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