THE relatively recent emergence of studies of social cognition in schizophrenia represents an important development in efforts to better understand the behavioral difficulties exhibited by schizophrenia patients. In this discussion each of the four key articles in this issue is briefly reviewed in order to highlight its major contributions and to emphasize relevant methodological and conceptual issues within the field. It is argued that although these four papers, and the larger body of work they represent, make significant contributions, the field of social cognition in schizophrenia as a whole could benefit from integrating insights from the normal social cognition literature, data on social- and emotional-processing deficits in neurological populations, and newer models of information processing. Following the review of the four papers, several key issues central to the continued advancement of this research area will be discussed, including the need to (a) move from linear to nonlinear models of social cognition in schizophrenia; (b) explore those aspects of social cognition that are responses to experience, as opposed to focusing solely on social cognition as a causal factor in behavior; (c) consider the role of affective and neuropsychological factors in social cognition; and (d) explore aspects of social cognition in schizophrenia other than those involving problem solving. In addition, the implications of research on social cognition for the development of social skills rehabilitation interventions are discussed.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Psychiatry and Mental health