Social Cognition and Schizophrenia
In Social Cognition and Schizophrenia, editors Patrick W. Corrigan and David L. Penn present a theoretically important and clinically relevant frame for better understanding this thought disorder, which commonly wreaks havoc on all areas of functioning. While schizophrenia has long been understood to be both a cognitive disorder and a social one, integrating social and cognitive research approaches has not been simple. How, exactly, do deficits in attention, memory, or executive functioning affect problem-solving, assertiveness, or dating skills? How does interpersonal interaction affect cognitive ability?
This fascinating book examines how persons with schizophrenia understand and respond to their world. Unlike numbers, words, objects, or other "non-social" stimuli, social stimuli are abstract, fluid, immediate, reciprocal, fraught with personal meaning. While the ordinary person may have no trouble differentiating between the meaning of laughter in response to a joke and that in response to a social faux pas, the person with schizophrenia may find it quite challenging. The ability to extract meaning from social stimuli requires a level of semantic processing that may be deficient in persons with schizophrenia. Furthermore, a person's relationship to social stimuli is interactive, requiring a cultural familiarity that persons with schizophrenia often lack as a result of their isolation from others.
This volume brings together the cutting-edge work of distinguished psychologists from Britain, Australia, and the U.S. who have developed and tested social cognitive models of schizophrenia. Here, they demonstrate how this paradigm holds promise for bridging the gap between lab-based tasks and real-world behavior, and for shedding light on the development, course and outcome of schizophrenia.