Keywords

Schizotypy, negative affect, facial electromyography, sex differences

Abstract

Schizotypy is a sub-threshold syndrome associated with schizophrenia. Much of the research on schizotypy concerns its component features, one of which being blunted or constricted affect. While several investigations have addressed this common “negative” symptom within the context of schizophrenia, few have focused on schizotypy directly, and none have utilized psychophysiological measurement to examine affective constriction. The present investigation uses facial electromyography (EMG) to measure patterns of affective expression within a psychometrically defined schizotypal population when presented threatening and distressing pictures from the IAPS. Twenty-eight individuals with elevated schizotypal features and 20 healthy controls were recruited for this investigation. The participants observed the series of pictures and provided self-report ratings of affective valance and arousal while their physiological responses were recorded. The protocol used here closely matched that used by Bradley and Lang (2007) and produced a similar pattern of results across all participants on selfreported ratings and physiological measures. Results further suggest that those with schizotypal features did not differ from control participants in self-reported ratings of negative affect or autonomic arousal. A three-way interaction in facial EMG measurement revealed that while schizotypic males demonstrated the expected pattern of blunted facial affective expression, schizotypic females displayed the opposite pattern. That is, females with psychometrically schizotypy demonstrated significant elevations in negative facial affective expression while viewing distressing pictures. We argue that these findings reflect unidentified sex differences in affective expression in schizotypy, and we discuss implications for assessment and diagnostic procedures among individuals with personality disorders

Notes

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Graduation Date

2013

Semester

Spring

Advisor

Cassisi, Jeffrey

Degree

Master of Science (M.S.)

College

College of Sciences

Department

Psychology

Degree Program

Psychology Clinical

Format

application/pdf

Identifier

CFE0004721

URL

http://purl.fcla.edu/fcla/etd/CFE0004721

Language

English

Release Date

May 2013

Length of Campus-only Access

None

Access Status

Masters Thesis (Open Access)

Subjects

Dissertations, Academic -- Sciences, Sciences -- Dissertations, Academic

Restricted to the UCF community until May 2013; it will then be open access.

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