Social cognition, social competence, negative symptoms and social outcomes: Inter-relationships in people with schizophrenia

Marc Kalin, Sara Kaplan, Felicia Gould, Amy E. Pinkham, David L. Penn, Philip D Harvey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

51 Scopus citations


Social deficits are common in people with schizophrenia and the treatment of deficits in social competence has been a long-time treatment strategy. However, negative symptoms and social cognitive deficits also contribute to social dysfunction. In this study, we examined the correlations between everyday social outcomes, a performance based measure of social competence, and performance on 8 different social cognition tests in 179 patients with schizophrenia. Social cognition, social competence, and motivation-related negative symptoms accounted for 32% of the variance in real-world social outcomes. In addition, two different social cognition tests, along with expression-related negative symptoms accounted for 32% of the variance in performance-based assessments of social competence. These data suggest that negative symptoms exert an important influence on social outcomes and social competence, but not social cognition, and that social cognition and social competence exert separable influences on real-world social outcomes. Improving social outcomes seems to require a multi-faceted approach which considers social cognition, social competence, and negative symptoms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)254-260
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Psychiatric Research
StatePublished - Sep 1 2015



  • Negative symptoms
  • Schizophrenia
  • Social cognition
  • Social competence
  • Social functioning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)

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