Interactive decision-making in people with schizotypal traits: A game theory approach
SourcePsychiatry Research, 185, 1-2, (2011), pp. 92-96
Article / Letter to editor
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SubjectBehaviour Change and Well-being
Studies that have investigated whether deficits in social cognition observed in schizophrenia are also present in schizotypal individuals have largely been inconclusive, and none of these studies have examined social interactive behavior. Here, we investigated interactive decision-making behavior in individuals differing in the amount of schizotypal symptoms using tasks derived from Game Theory. In total 1691 undergraduate students were screened with the Schizotypal Personality Questionnaire-Brief version. We selected 69 people distributed across the full schizotypal continuum to participate in Ultimatum and Dictator Games in which they played against human and non-human, computer partners. The results showed that higher levels of schizotypal symptoms, particularly positive and disorganized schizotypy, were related to proposing higher offers to all partners. Additionally, the amount of interpersonal schizotypal symptoms was associated with an increased acceptance rate of very unfair offers from human partners, possibly reflecting a blunted emotional response to such offers. We conclude that positive and disorganized schizotypal symptoms are associated with less adequate bargaining behavior, similar to what has been recently observed in patients with schizophrenia. The observed similarities on Ultimatum Game behavior between patients with schizophrenia and individuals with more schizotypal symptoms contribute to the growing evidence that social cognitive deficits may represent a marker of vulnerability to schizophrenia.
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