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Psychiatry Res. 2011 Mar 30;186(1):1-4. doi: 10.1016/j.psychres.2010.07.041. Epub 2010 Aug 25.

Reality monitoring and its association with social functioning in schizophrenia.

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  • 1Department of Psychology, Kent State University, P.O. Box 5190, Kent, OH 44240-0001, USA.


Reality monitoring, or the ability to discriminate internal from external information present in short-term memory, is relevant in the study of schizophrenia. Previous research has linked monitoring impairments with psychotic symptoms and certain forms of communication disturbance. The focus of the present study was to test the hypothesis that there would be specific relationships between reality monitoring in patients with schizophrenia and current and pre-morbid social functioning, beyond the effects of general verbal ability. Fifty outpatients with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder were assessed for internal/external reality monitoring deficits, general verbal intelligence, and both current and pre-morbid social functioning. Associations between these variables were assessed. Exploratory analyses also were conducted to determine whether specific types of reality monitoring errors were related to social functioning. Results showed that (a) overall accuracy in reality monitoring was related to pre-morbid social functioning beyond the effects of verbal ability, (b) sensitivity to old versus new information in reality monitoring was related to current social functioning, and (c) a say-report-think reality monitoring error was significantly associated with pre-morbid social functioning. The results support the hypothesis of an association between reality monitoring sensitivity and social functioning.

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