The influence of social cognition on social outcomes appears greater in patients with schizophrenia who have less severe symptoms of reduced emotional experience, according to a recent study. Participants with schizophrenia (n=312) were tested using 5 different measures of social cognition. Performance-based assessments and clinical ratings of reduced emotion experience were used to assess social competence. High contact informants rated interpersonal functioning and social acceptability of behavior, while unaware of other patient data. Patients were divided into higher and lower reduced emotional experience using previously validated criteria. Researchers found:
- 33% of patients had at least moderate symptoms of reduced emotional experience.
- Patients with greater severity had more social functioning impairment, but not poorer social competence and social cognition.
- In patients with lower severity, social cognition accounted for 9% of the variance in interpersonal functioning, while in patients with higher severity, social cognition did not predict any variance.
- In patients with lower severity, social cognition accounted for 4% of the variance in social acceptability of behavior, while in patients with higher severity, social cognition also did not predict any variance.
Harvey PD, Deckler E, Jarsksog LF, Penn DL, Pinkham AE. Predictors of social functioning in patients with higher and lower levels of reduced emotional experience: Social cognition, social competence, and symptom severity. [Published online ahead of print November 13, 2018]. Schizophr Res. doi:10.1016/j.schres.2018.11.005.