Social cognition (SC) refers broadly to the domains of cognitive functions that are employed in socially relevant situations. These include three primary domains (i.e., emotion perception, Theory of Mind-TOM-, and attributional style), as well as more complex and developing concepts such as social metacognition.
Patients with schizophrenia demonstrate significant deficits across multiple dimensions of SC and throughout all phases of the illness.
The correlation between SC and real-life functioning ranged from small to large, mainly depending on the examined aspect of SC, with largest effects observed for TOM. Indeed, it has been suggested that TOM difficulties may lead to social misperceptions that influence how an individual reacts to others, which in turn may lead to maladaptive social patterns and/or social withdrawal, which both may influence real-life vocational outcome more than neurocognition (NC) abilities. Moreover, SC appears to act as a mediator between nonsocial basic NC and community functioning.
The goals of this study are to analyze the pattern of SC variables in schizophrenia using cluster analysis, to examine the relationship of real-life functioning with cluster membership, and to identify cut-offs that best discriminate among clusters in a large sample of patients with schizophrenia recruited to the Italian Network for Research on Psychoses (NIRP). A full assessment of different aspects of SC was carried out, including emotional intelligence, recognition and theory of mind (TOM).
Disclosure of interest
The author has not supplied his declaration of competing interest.