Examining the role of dysfunctional beliefs in individuals with schizotypy

Lauren Luther, Purdue University


In accord with the cognitive model of poor functioning in schizophrenia, defeatist performance beliefs, or overgeneralized negative beliefs about one's ability to perform tasks, have been linked to poor functional outcomes, cognitive impairment, and negative symptoms in schizophrenia and are a suggested therapeutic target in Cognitive Therapy for Schizophrenia. However, there is a paucity of research investigating these beliefs in schizotypy, or those exhibiting traits reflecting a putative genetic liability for schizophrenia. This study had three aims: to examine whether defeatist performance beliefs 1) are elevated in schizotypy compared to non-schizotypy, 2) are associated with functioning-related outcomes (i.e., quality of life, working memory, negative schizotypy traits), and 3) mediate the relationships between working memory and both negative schizotypy traits and quality of life. Schizotypy (n = 43) and non-schizotypy (n = 45) groups completed measures of schizotypy traits, defeatist performance beliefs, quality of life, and working memory. Results revealed that the schizotypy group reported significantly more defeatist performance beliefs than the non-schizotypy group. Within the schizotypy group, defeatist performance beliefs were significantly positively associated with negative schizotypy traits and significantly inversely associated with quality of life. No associations were observed between defeatist performance beliefs and positive schizotypy traits and working memory. Further, defeatist performance beliefs did not mediate the relationships between working memory and either quality of life or negative schizotypy traits. Findings are generally consistent with the cognitive model of poor functioning in schizophrenia and suggest that defeatist performance beliefs may be an important therapeutic target in early intervention services.




Salyers, Purdue University.

Subject Area

Mental health|Clinical psychology|Cognitive psychology

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