Schizotypy, a complex construct linked to schizophrenia-related traits, encompasses positive, negative, and disorganized symptoms. This study offers a review of the concept of schizotypy, including its historical evolution, tracing it from Bleuler's early mention in 1911 to Meehl's continuum model. Embracing a dimensional perspective, this research underscores the interplay of biological, psychological, and social factors in understanding schizotypy. Deficits in sustained attention and working memory within schizotypy remain underexplored, with prior studies yielding inconsistent results. Adaptive functioning deficits in individuals with schizotypy are also inadequately understood. Examining a college student population, this investigation utilized scores on the Schizotypal Personality Questionnaire – Brief Revised (SPQ-BR) to psychometrically define schizotypy, and it used the Community Assessment of Psychic Experiences (CAPE-42), World Health Organization Disability Assessment Schedule 2.0 (WHODAS 2.0), Continuous Performance Task (CPT-IP) and Visuospatial n-Back Task to assess the hypotheses. This was accomplished by comparing 60 individuals in the schizotypy group with 60 carefully matched controls. Contrary to expectations, those with schizotypy exhibited superior performance on sustained attention and visuospatial working memory tasks compared to controls, challenging the established literature, and warranting replication. The study addresses methodological gaps by using carefully matched control groups and employing innovative online cognitive tests. Despite observed cognitive strengths in performance, a paradox emerged as schizotypal individuals self-reported lower cognitive functioning, suggesting the need to focus on metacognition in schizotypy in future studies. This study underscores the need for a comprehensive systematic assessment of emerging young adult populations to understand their current psychological functioning relative to other community samples. The association between schizotypy, positive psychotic-like experiences, and increased self-reported disability suggests a need for the development of preventive interventions. The Hierarchical Taxonomy of Psychopathology (HITOP) is suggested as a promising assessment system for schizophrenia spectrum disorders in college students.

Thesis Completion




Thesis Chair/Advisor

Cassisi, Jeffrey


Bachelor of Science (B.S.)


College of Sciences



Degree Program




Access Status

Open Access

Release Date