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PLoS One. 2012;7(2):e30078. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0030078. Epub 2012 Feb 20.

Schizotypy and behavioural adjustment and the role of neuroticism.

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Department of Psychology, University of Munich, Munich, Germany.



In the present study the relationship between behavioural adjustment following cognitive conflict and schizotypy was investigated using a Stroop colour naming paradigm. Previous research has found deficits with behavioural adjustment in schizophrenia patients. Based on these findings, we hypothesized that individual differences in schizotypy, a personality trait reflecting the subclinical expression of the schizophrenia phenotype, would be associated with behavioural adjustment. Additionally, we investigated whether such a relationship would be explained by individual differences in neuroticism, a non-specific measure of negative trait emotionality known to be correlated with schizotypy.


106 healthy volunteers (mean age: 25.1, 60% females) took part. Post-conflict adjustment was measured in a computer-based version of the Stroop paradigm. Schizotypy was assessed using the Schizotypal Personality Questionnaire (SPQ) and Neuroticism using the NEO-FFI.


We found a negative correlation between schizotypy and post-conflict adjustment (r = -.30, p<.01); this relationship remained significant when controlling for effects of neuroticism. Regression analysis revealed that particularly the subscale No Close Friends drove the effect.


Previous findings of deficits in cognitive control in schizophrenia patients were extended to the subclinical personality expression of the schizophrenia phenotype and found to be specific to schizotypal traits over and above the effects of negative emotionality.

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