Paranoid and nonparanoid schizophrenic processing of facially displayed affect

J Psychiatr Res. 1992 Jul;26(3):169-82. doi: 10.1016/0022-3956(92)90021-f.


It was proposed that differences between paranoid and nonparanoid schizophrenics in the processing of affective information may reflect underlying differences in their schema for emotion-laden information. Performances of 14 paranoid schizophrenics, 13 nonparanoid schizophrenics, and 15 matched controls were compared on a facial affect judgment task, and a matched control task comprising geometric figures largely devoid of emotional information. Subjects were required to rate friendliness, select an emotion label, and subsequently to remember the stimuli. Nonparanoids were deficient in overall labeling of facial affect, suggesting a weak cognitive schema for emotional information. The paranoids were particularly more accurate than the nonparanoids at labeling the negative facial affects, suggesting well-developed negative emotional aspects in their cognitive schema. Unexpectedly, nonparanoids relative to paranoids displayed a greater memory deficit in the recognition of geometric figures than in the recognition of faces. The nonparanoid deficit suggests these subjects may have poorly organized schema for remembering less structured nonverbal information. The findings support the idea of fundamental cognitive processing differences between paranoid and nonparanoid schizophrenia.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Affect* / drug effects
  • Attention / drug effects
  • Discrimination Learning / drug effects
  • Facial Expression*
  • Fluphenazine / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Mental Recall* / drug effects
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Schizophrenia / diagnosis*
  • Schizophrenia / drug therapy
  • Schizophrenia, Paranoid / diagnosis*
  • Schizophrenia, Paranoid / drug therapy
  • Schizophrenia, Paranoid / psychology
  • Schizophrenic Psychology*
  • Social Behavior


  • Fluphenazine