Villatte et al. Deictic relational responding/ belief attribution in schizophrenia and social anhedonia. JBTEP.

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APA Citation: 

Villatte, M., Monestès, J. L., McHugh, L., Freixa i Baqué, E., & Loas, G. (2010). Adopting the perspective of another in belief attribution: Contribution of Relational Frame Theory to the understanding of impairments in schizophrenia. Journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry, 41, 125-134.

Publication Topic: 
Behavior Analysis: Empirical
RFT: Empirical
Publication Type: 

Impaired ability of identifying mental states is a characteristic of schizophrenia spectrum disorders. In particular, people suffering from this illness tend to fail at attributing a belief to another, which has been linked to difficulties in changing interpersonal perspective. Following the view of Relational Frame Theory on perspective-taking skills, the current study aimed at examining the involvement of social anhedonia, one of the frequent features of schizophrenia, in the development of deficits in reversing the I-YOU relation (i.e. adopting the perspective of another). A task consisting of attributing a belief to another or to the self was employed with 30 non-clinical participants with a high level of social anhedonia and with 15 patients diagnosed with schizophrenia. In comparison to two control groups, both experimental groups showed significant poorer performance when adopting the perspective of another. These results constitute important indications to target specific relational repertoires when attempting to remediate impairments in mental states attribution linked to schizophrenia. Keywords: Schizophrenia, Social anhedonia, Theory of mind, Deictic relational responding, Belief attribution, RFT

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