Pflum MJ, Gooding DC, White HJ
J. Nerv. Ment. Dis. 2013 May;201(5):394-9
Studying Theory of Mind (ToM) performance in nonclinical populations may assist our understanding of underlying cognitive processes and contributing factors. ToM was assessed in three groups of psychometrically identified schizotypes, namely, individuals elevated on scales assessing positive schizotypy, those elevated on scales assessing negative schizotypy, and those elevated on both positive and negative schizotypy scales, using two hinting tasks. Individuals characterized by positive schizotypy showed poorer ToM performance compared with controls. The results suggest that individuals with elevated positive schizotypy scores experience more difficulty inferring the meaning of others' mental states (i.e., intentions) via indirect speech, such as hints. The negative schizotypy group did not differ from the nonschizotypy group in ToM performance. These findings are considered in terms of cognitive processing styles and implications for possible intervention. They also provide support for the inclusion of multiple groups of schizotypal individuals when assessing social cognition.