Theory of mind correlates with clinical insight but not cognitive insight in patients with schizophrenia

Q. Zhang, X. Li, G.J. Parker, X.-H. Hong, Y. Wang, S.S.Y. Lui, D.L. Neumann, E.F.C. Cheung, Ho Keung David Shum, R.C.K. Chan

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

32 Citations (Scopus)


© 2016 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. Research on the relationship between insight and social cognition, in particular Theory of Mind (ToM), in schizophrenia has yielded mixed findings to date. Very few studies, however, have assessed both clinical insight and cognitive insight when examining their relationships with ToM in schizophrenia. The current study thus investigated the relationship between clinical insight, cognitive insight, and ToM in a sample of 56 patients with schizophrenia and 30 healthy controls. Twenty-seven patients were classified as low in clinical insight according to their scores on the 'insight' item (G12) of the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS). Moreover, cognitive insight and ToM were assessed with the Beck Cognitive Insight Scale (BCIS) and the Yoni task, respectively. The results indicated that patients with poor clinical insight performed worse on tasks of second-order cognitive and affective ToM, while the ToM performance of patients with high clinical insight was equivalent to that of healthy controls. Furthermore, while clinical insight was correlated with ToM and clinical symptoms, cognitive insight did not correlate with clinical insight, ToM, or clinical symptoms. Clinical insight thus appears to be an important factor related to ToM in schizophrenia.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)188-195
Number of pages8
JournalPsychiatry Research
Publication statusPublished - 30 Mar 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Clinical insight
  • Cognitive insight
  • Schizophrenia
  • Theory of mind

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry


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