Th.o.m.a.s.: An exploratory assessment of Theory of Mind in schizophrenic subjects

Bosco, Francesca M. and Colle, Livia and De Fazio, Silvia and Bono, Adele and Ruberti, Saverio and Tirassa, Maurizio (2009) Th.o.m.a.s.: An exploratory assessment of Theory of Mind in schizophrenic subjects. [Journal (Paginated)]

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A large body of literature agrees that persons with schizophrenia suffer from a Theory of Mind (ToM) deficit. However, most empirical studies have focused on third-person, egocentric ToM, underestimating other facets of this complex cognitive skill. Aim of this research is to examine the ToM of schizophrenic persons considering its various aspects (first vs. second order, first vs. third person, egocentric vs. allocentric, beliefs vs. desires vs. positive emotions vs. negative emotions and how each of these mental state types may be dealt with), to determine whether some components are more impaired than others. We developed a Theory of Mind Assessment Scale (Th.o.m.a.s.) and administered it to 22 persons with a DSM-IV diagnosis of schizophrenia and a matching control group. Th.o.m.a.s. is a semi-structured interview which allows a multi-component measurement of ToM. Both groups were also administered a few existing ToM tasks and the schizophrenic subjects were administered the Positive and Negative Symptoms Scale and the WAIS-R. The schizophrenic persons performed worse than control at all the ToM measurements; however, these deficits appeared to be differently distributed among different components of ToM. Our conclusion is that ToM deficits are not unitary in schizophrenia, which also testifies to the importance of a complete and articulated investigation of ToM.

Item Type:Journal (Paginated)
Keywords:schizophrenia, theory of mind, mindreading, assessment, first person, third person, allocentric perspective, egocentric perspective, clinical interview
Subjects:Psychology > Clinical Psychology
Psychology > Cognitive Psychology
Psychology > Developmental Psychology
Linguistics > Pragmatics
Neuroscience > Neurolinguistics
Neuroscience > Neuropsychology
Neuroscience > Neuropsychiatry
Philosophy > Philosophy of Language
Philosophy > Philosophy of Mind
Psychology > Psycholinguistics
Psychology > Social Psychology
ID Code:6816
Deposited By:Tirassa, Prof. Maurizio
Deposited On:01 Apr 2010 12:36
Last Modified:11 Mar 2011 08:57

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