Autobiographical memory, Schizophrenia, Schizotypy, Sex, Social cognition
Individuals with schizophrenia exhibit marked impairments on tasks assessing theory of mind (ToM) and autobiographical memory (AM) qualities, and preliminary research has indicated a positive link between these abilities. This study is the first to systematically explore this relationship in the related personality trait of schizotypy. In a study of 47 undergraduate students (23 males) reporting a wide continuous range of schizotypy, we found that females, but not males, exhibited a negative correlation between ToM and schizotypy, and an unexpected positive correlation between AM qualities and schizotypy. Factor score analysis within females indicated that disorganized schizotypy was the strongest correlate of both ToM (i.e., affective ToM; ability to infer emotions), and AM qualities (i.e., mental imagery vividness). Finally, independent of schizotypy and sex, ToM was negatively correlated with AM qualities. This negative association between ToM and AM as well as the positive relationship between schizotypy and AM (in females) distinguish findings in schizotypy from those in schizophrenia. Although, the qualities of AM in schizotypy are relatively unexplored in schizotypy, overlapping and AM-related constructs (e.g., mental image vividness, creativity) are enhanced in schizotypy. This phenomenon is theorized to occur due to a reduced latent inhibition process, which also reveals distinct patterns of sexual dimorphism in schizotypy. In sum, the current study found sex to be a critical variable in each hypothesis, demonstrating a unique pattern in females, but not males. It could be that distinct underlying mechanisms account for sex differences on ToM and AM tasks in schizophrenia-related disorders.
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Master of Science (M.S.)
College of Sciences
Length of Campus-only Access
Masters Thesis (Open Access)
Dissertations, Academic -- Sciences, Sciences -- Dissertations, Academic
Deptula, Andrew, "Autobiographical Memory And Theory Of Mind In Schizotypy" (2013). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 2900.