King’s College London study: Interpreting social cues in schizophrenia

3 Oct

Caralee J. Adams reported in the Education Week article, ‘Soft Skills’ Pushed as Part of College Readiness:

To make it in college, students need to be up for the academic rigor. But that’s not all. They also must be able to manage their own time, get along with roommates, and deal with setbacks. Resiliency and grit, along with the ability to communicate and advocate, are all crucial life skills. Yet, experts say, many teenagers lack them, and that’s hurting college-completion rates. http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2012/11/14/12softskills_ep.h32.html?tkn=WQRFgl%2Bkfw2CUbzDpa48iaX0xbRF0HCUXIpI&cmp=clp-edweek&intc=es

Soft skills are skills associated with “emotional intelligence.”

Jeanne Segal, Ph.D., and Melinda Smith, M.A. have wrote the excellent article, Emotional Intelligence (EQ) for HELPGUIDE.Org.

What is emotional intelligence?

Emotional intelligence (EQ) is the ability to identify, use, understand, and manage emotions in positive ways to relieve stress, communicate effectively, empathize with others, overcome challenges, and diffuse conflict. Emotional intelligence impacts many different aspects of your daily life, such as the way you behave and the way you interact with others.
If you have a high emotional intelligence you are able to recognize your own emotional state and the emotional states of others and engage with people in a way that draws them to you. You can use this understanding of emotions to relate better to other people, form healthier relationships, achieve greater success at work, and lead a more fulfilling life.

Emotional intelligence consists of four attributes:

• Self-awareness – You recognize your own emotions and how they affect your thoughts and behavior, know your strengths and weaknesses, and have self-confidence.
• Self-management – You’re able to control impulsive feelings and behaviors, manage your emotions in healthy ways, take initiative, follow through on commitments, and adapt to changing circumstances.
• Social awareness – You can understand the emotions, needs, and concerns of other people, pick up on emotional cues, feel comfortable socially, and recognize the power dynamics in a group or organization.
• Relationship management – You know how to develop and maintain good relationships, communicate clearly, inspire and influence others, work well in a team, and manage conflict.
Why is emotional intelligence (EQ) so important?
• As we know, it’s not the smartest people that are the most successful or the most fulfilled in life. You probably know people who are academically brilliant and yet are socially inept and unsuccessful at work or in their personal relationships. Intellectual intelligence or IQ isn’t enough on its own to be successful in life. IQ can help you get into college but it’s EQ that will help you manage the stress and emotions of sitting your final exams…. http://www.helpguide.org/mental/eq5_raising_emotional_intelligence.htm

Whether one calls success traits “emotional intelligence” or “soft skills” is really not important. The traits associated are those more likely to result in a successful outcome for the individual.

Science Daily reported in Why do people with schizophrenia misinterpret social cues?

A new study from the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience (IoPPN) at King’s College London sheds light on why people with schizophrenia misinterpret social cues in others, often leading to unpleasant paranoid and persecutory thoughts.

Insights from this research, published in Psychological Medicine, could help develop psychological interventions to assist people with schizophrenia to interpret social cues, which might also improve their symptoms.

The researchers studied the behaviour of 54 participants, including 29 people with schizophrenia, as they viewed the body position and gestures of an actor on a silent video clip. These included gestures such as putting a finger to the lips to indicate ‘be quiet’ or incidental movements such as scratching an eye.

They found that patients with schizophrenia are able to interpret meaningful gestures and incidental movements as accurately as healthy subjects. However, when the direction of the gestures was ambiguous (i.e. not obviously directed at or away from them), they were much more likely to misinterpret the gestures as being directed towards them.
According to the researchers, this could indicate an increased tendency to self-infer these ambiguous social cues or to ‘hyper-mentalise’, whereby intent is falsely inferred from the actions of others. Both of these misinterpretations could underpin the incidence of paranoid thought experienced by patients with schizophrenia, suggest the study authors. The patients’ confidence in their interpretation was found to be strongly associated with their propensity to experience hallucinatory symptoms….
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/09/150930110445.htm

Citation:

Why do people with schizophrenia misinterpret social cues?
Date: September 30, 2015

Source: King’s College London

Summary:
A new study sheds light on why people with schizophrenia misinterpret social cues in others, often leading to unpleasant paranoid and persecutory thoughts. The study could help develop psychological interventions to assist people with schizophrenia to interpret social cues, which might also improve their symptoms.

Journal Reference:
1. T. P. White, F. Borgan, O. Ralley, S. S. Shergill. You looking at me?: Interpreting social cues in schizophrenia. Psychological Medicine, 2015; 1 DOI: 10.1017/S0033291715001622

Here is the press release from King’s College London:

Why do people with schizophrenia misinterpret social cues?

Posted on 30/09/2015

A new study from the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience (IoPPN) at King’s College London sheds light on why people with schizophrenia misinterpret social cues in others, often leading to unpleasant paranoid and persecutory thoughts.

Insights from this research, published in Psychological Medicine, could help develop psychological interventions to assist people with schizophrenia to interpret social cues, which might also improve their symptoms.

The researchers studied the behaviour of 54 participants, including 29 people with schizophrenia, as they viewed the body position and gestures of an actor on a silent video clip. These included gestures such as putting a finger to the lips to indicate ‘be quiet’ or incidental movements such as scratching an eye.

They found that patients with schizophrenia are able to interpret meaningful gestures and incidental movements as accurately as healthy subjects. However, when the direction of the gestures was ambiguous (i.e. not obviously directed at or away from them), they were much more likely to misinterpret the gestures as being directed towards them.

According to the researchers, this could indicate an increased tendency to self-infer these ambiguous social cues or to ‘hyper-mentalise’, whereby intent is falsely inferred from the actions of others. Both of these misinterpretations could underpin the incidence of paranoid thought experienced by patients with schizophrenia, suggest the study authors. The patients’ confidence in their interpretation was found to be strongly associated with their propensity to experience hallucinatory symptoms.

Professor Sukhi Shergill from the Department of Psychosis Studies, said: ‘Humans are social beings, often finding joy in interacting with others. While most attention is on talking with each other, non-verbal behaviour such as gestures, body movement and facial expression also play a very important role in conveying the message.
‘However, the message being conveyed is not always clear, or perceived as a positive one, and an extreme example is evident in patients suffering from schizophrenia who show a strong tendency to misinterpret the intentions of other people in a malevolent manner.

‘Our study offers a basis for psychological interventions aimed at improving gestural interpretation. It could also provide guidance for health professionals and carers on how to communicate with patients who have schizophrenia, in order to reduce misinterpretations of non-verbal behaviour.’

Professor Shergill added: ‘The recent advent of adaptable virtual-reality technology provides a means of investigating the psychological effects of gestural communication with greater flexibility, which may prove a boon for our future understanding of social deficits in schizophrenia.’

Example gestural video-clips in the left column and example incidental movements in the right column. Movements were performed towards (top row), ambiguously (middle row) or perpendicularly (away; bottom row) in relation to the viewer.

Notes to editors

White, T. P. et al (2015) You looking at me?: Interpreting social cues in schizophrenia, Psychological Medicine, doi:10.1017/S0033291715001622
For further media information please contact Jack Stonebridge, Press Officer, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience, King’s College London on +44 (0) 20 7848 5377 or jack.stonebridge@kcl.ac.uk.
For further information about King’s visit our ‘King’s in Brief’ page.
http://www.kcl.ac.uk/ioppn/news/records/2015/September/Why-do-people-with-schizophrenia-misinterpret-social-cues-.aspx

If you or your child needs help for depression or another illness, then go to a reputable medical provider. There is nothing wrong with taking the steps necessary to get well.

Related:

Schools have to deal with depressed and troubled children
https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2011/11/15/schools-have-to-deal-with-depressed-and-troubled-children/

School psychologists are needed to treat troubled children
https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/02/27/school-psychologists-are-needed-to-treat-troubled-children/

Battling teen addiction: ‘Recovery high schools’
https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/07/08/battling-teen-addiction-recovery-high-schools/

Resources:

1. About.Com’s Depression In Young Children http://depression.about.com/od/child/Young_Children.htm

2. Psych Central’s Depression In Young Children http://depression.about.com/od/child/Young_Children.htm

3. Psychiatric News’ Study Helps Pinpoint Children With Depression http://psychnews.psychiatryonline.org/newsarticle.aspx?articleid=106034

4. Family Doctor’s What Is Depression? http://familydoctor.org/familydoctor/en/diseases-conditions/depression.html

5. WebMD’s Depression In Children http://www.webmd.com/depression/guide/depression-children

6. Healthline’s Is Your Child Depressed?
http://www.healthline.com/hlvideo-5min/how-to-help-your-child-through-depression-517095449

7. Medicine.Net’s Depression In Children http://www.onhealth.com/depression_in_children/article.htm

If you or your child needs help for depression or another illness, then go to a reputable medical provider. There is nothing wrong with taking the steps necessary to get well.

Where information leads to Hope. © Dr. Wilda.com

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©

Blogs by Dr. Wilda:

COMMENTS FROM AN OLD FART©
http://drwildaoldfart.wordpress.com

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http://drwildareviews.wordpress.com/

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