A social cognitive approach to emotional intensity judgment deficits in schizophrenia

E. Serap Monkul, Melissa J. Green, Jennifer A. Barrett, Jennifer L. Robinson, Dawn I. Velligan, David C. Glahn*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    29 Citations (Scopus)


    Patients with schizophrenia are impaired in both emotion perception and contextual processing, however these two processes have not been thoroughly assessed simultaneously in adults with schizophrenia. This study examined the impact of social contextual information upon the perception of emotional intensity in schizophrenia. 30 clinically stable outpatients with schizophrenia and 30 demographically matched healthy subjects assessed the intensity of a single emotion (anger, disgust, happiness, sadness or fear) from images of people presented under two conditions (context-free and context embedded). During the first assessment, a single person (face and body) was presented without any background (e.g., contextual) scenery. The second assessment included the same person but with the original background of the image. Differences between the first and second ratings provided an index of the extent to which contextual information was used to judge emotional intensity. Without contextual cues, patients with schizophrenia viewed scenes as having greater disgust and anger than healthy subjects. Furthermore, patients were less impacted by contextual cues as evidenced by the minute changes in their assessments. These results suggest that patients with schizophrenia differ from healthy subjects in both their ability to rate emotional intensity and the influence of contextual adjustment upon such ratings.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)245-252
    Number of pages8
    JournalSchizophrenia Research
    Issue number1-3
    Publication statusPublished - Aug 2007


    • Affect recognition
    • Context
    • Emotion perception
    • Facial recognition
    • Psychosis
    • Social functioning
    • Social perception


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