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Psychiatry Res. 1998 May 8;78(3):189-96.

Factors that affect social cue recognition in schizophrenia.

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University of Chicago Center for Psychiatric Rehabilitation, Tinley Park, IL 60477, USA.


Earlier research (Corrigan and Green, Am. J. Psychiatry, 150 (1993) 589-594) showed fairly symptomatic persons with schizophrenia give more false-positive responses when answering questions about abstract cues in a social situation (i.e. affect, rules, and goals inferred about an interpersonal situation) than concrete cues (i.e. actions and dialogue observed in a situation). It is unclear, however, whether differential cue recognition is due to schizophrenia per se, or some aspect of the illness commensurate with significant symptoms and in-patient care. Moreover, the abstract and concrete dimension in the earlier study had not been independently validated. In this study, the 288 items of the Social Cue Recognition Test (SCRT) were divided into three sets based on abstraction ratings provided by 38 college students. The SCRT was then completed by 48 participants with DSM-III-R diagnoses of schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder. Participants with schizophrenia were divided into low and high symptom groups using scores from the Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale. Results showed both low symptom and high symptom groups exhibited a differential deficit in cue recognition. False positives were greater for items rated as more abstract. Implications for understanding the social cognitive deficits of persons with schizophrenia are discussed.

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