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Predicting Social Functioning in Schizotypy: An Investigation of the Relative Contributions of Theory of Mind and Mood

McCleery, Amanda MA*; Divilbiss, Marielle MA*; St-Hilaire, Annie PhD*†; Aakre, Jennifer M. PhD*‡; Seghers, James P. PhD*; Bell, Emily K. MA*; Docherty, Nancy M. PhD*

The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease: February 2012 - Volume 200 - Issue 2 - p 147–152
doi: 10.1097/NMD.0b013e3182439533
Original Articles

Theory of mind (ToM) is an aspect of social cognition that refers to the ability to make inferences about the thoughts, feelings, and intentions of other people. It is believed to be related to social functioning. Previous investigations of ToM in schizotypy have yielded mixed results. Using a correlational approach, the present study explored the relationship between schizotypal traits, ToM, neurocognition, depressed mood, and social functioning in a sample of 50 undergraduate students. Schizotypy was related to poor social functioning. Contrary to predictions, schizotypal traits were not associated with impaired ToM. In fact, schizotypal traits were associated with enhanced performance on a ToM task that involved detection of ironic statements. However, strong relationships emerged among schizotypy, depressed mood, and social functioning, highlighting the need to also examine depression when assessing the relations between elevated schizotypy and poor social functioning.

*Department of Psychology, Kent State University, Kent, OH; †CLSC Bordeaux-Cartierville-St-Laurent, Montreal, Quebec, Canada; and ‡VA Capitol Healthcare Network (VISN 5) Mental Illness Research, Education, and Clinical Center (MIRECC), Baltimore, MD.

Send reprint requests to Amanda McCleery, MA, Department of Psychology, Kent State University, Kent, OH 44242. E-mail:

© 2012 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.