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Schizotypy, theory of mind and the understanding of irony.

Barnaby, B.; (2006) Schizotypy, theory of mind and the understanding of irony. Doctoral thesis , University of London. Green open access

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Frith's (1992) cognitive neuropsychological model of schizophrenia proposed that the symptoms characteristic of that disorder can be accounted for in terms of differing degrees of theory of mind impairment. There is a large body of evidence indicating that individuals with schizophrenia perform poorly on tasks that are hypothesised to require a functioning theory of mind, and this review aims to introduce the main findings from these studies. Following consideration of thirty-four relevant papers, this review finds that the only unequivocal finding is that individuals with schizophrenia do show impaired theory of mind. How this impairment relates to schizophrenic symptomatology as predicted by Frith's model is far less certain, and several methodological limitations are discussed that could account for this uncertainty, before a new development in the field is introduced: the use of the schizotypy paradigm to test the predictions of Frith's theory in non-clinical samples. The schizotypy paradigm has been employed in three studies investigating ToM performance in healthy individuals to date (Langdon and Coltheart, 1999 Langdon and Coltheart, 2004 Pickup, 2006), and the findings from these studies show that schizotypal traits do influence ToM performance. These studies are reviewed, and future directions for research are recommended.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Title: Schizotypy, theory of mind and the understanding of irony.
Identifier: PQ ETD:592629
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Thesis digitised by Proquest
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1445309
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