Psychometrically identified positive schizotypy and negative schizotypy are differentially related to psychopathology, personality and social functioning. However, little is known about the experience and expression of schizotypy in daily life and the psychological mechanisms that trigger psychotic-like experiences.
The present study employed experience sampling methodology (ESM) to assess positive and negative schizotypy in daily life in a non-clinical sample of 412 young adults. ESM is a structured diary technique in which participants are prompted at random times during the day to complete assessments of their current experiences.
As hypothesized, positive schizotypy was associated with increased negative affect, thought impairment, suspiciousness, negative beliefs about current activities and feelings of rejection, but not with social disinterest or decreased positive affect. Negative schizotypy, on the other hand, was associated with decreased positive affect and pleasure in daily life, increased negative affect, and decreases in social contact and interest. Both positive schizotypy and negative schizotypy were associated with the desire to be alone when with others. However, this was moderated by anxiety in positive schizotypy and by diminished positive affect in negative schizotypy.
The results support the construct validity of a multidimensional model of schizotypy and the ecological validity of the positive and negative schizotypy dimensions. ESM appears to be a promising method for examining the daily life experiences of schizotypic individuals.