Self-assessment of social cognitive ability in individuals with schizophrenia: Appraising task difficulty and allocation of effort

Danielle Cornacchio, Amy E. Pinkham, David L. Penn, Philip D. Harvey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

11 Scopus citations


Patients with severe mental illnesses manifest substantial deficits in self-assessment of the abilities that impact everyday functioning. This study compares patients with schizophrenia to healthy individuals on their social cognitive performance, their assessment of that performance, and the convergence between performance and indicators of effort in solving tasks. Patients with schizophrenia (n = 57) and healthy controls (HC; n = 47) completed the Bell-Lysaker Emotion Recognition Test (BLERT), a psychometrically sound assessment of emotion recognition. Participants rated their confidence in the accuracy of their responses after each item. Participants were instructed to respond as rapidly as possible without sacrificing accuracy; the time to complete each item was recorded. Patients with schizophrenia performed less accurately on the BLERT than HC. Both patients and HC were more confident on items that they correctly answered than for items with errors, with patients being less confident overall; there was no significant interaction for confidence between group and accuracy. HC demonstrated a more substantial adjustment of response time to task difficulty by taking considerably longer to solve items that they got wrong, whereas patients showed only a minimal adjustment. These results expand knowledge about both self-assessment of social cognitive performance and the ability to appraise difficulty and adjust effort to social cognitive task demands in patients with schizophrenia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)85-90
Number of pages6
JournalSchizophrenia Research
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017


  • Effort
  • Schizophrenia
  • Social cognition
  • Task difficulty

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry

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