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Less words, more words: psychometric schizotypy and verbal fluency

By Dr Elias Tsakanikos and Professor Gordon Claridge


Positive and negative symptoms of schizophrenia have been differentially associated with irregularities in verbal production, suggesting the involvement of different underlying mechanisms in psychotic symptomatology. In view of that, the present investigation examined whether the amount of verbal production would be also differentially associated with negative and positive symptoms of psychometric schizotypy in a sample of college students (N=190). The participants were tested on a typical verbal fluency test and completed the O-LIFE schizotypy scales. The analyses revealed that decreased verbal fluency was associated with increased levels of negative schizotypy in participants who scored one standard deviation above the mean on the ‘Introvertive Anhedonia’ scale. In contrast, increased verbal fluency was associated with increased levels of positive schizotypy in participants who scored one standard deviation above the mean on the ‘Unusual Experiences’ scale. The obtained results are discussed in terms of the proposal that psychotic-like unusual experiences, like hallucinations, may be the product of a higher automatic spreading activation among stored lexical units, a mechanism which seems to account for the previously reported link between positive schizotypy and creativity

Topics: Neuropsychology, Neuropsychiatry, Cognitive Psychology
Year: 2004
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