Metacognition in schizophrenia: associations with multiple assessments of executive function

J Nerv Ment Dis. 2008 May;196(5):384-9. doi: 10.1097/NMD.0b013e3181710916.


Deficits in metacognitive capacity, or the abilities to think about thinking, are thought to be a key barrier to functioning in schizophrenia. Although metacognitive function may be linked to executive function, it is unclear how the different domains of each phenomenon are related to one another. Accordingly, we assessed 4 domains of metacognition on the basis of a self-generated narrative using the Metacognition Assessment Scale. These were correlated with subtests of the Delis Kaplan Executive Function System which assessed 2 domains of executive function: mental flexibility and inhibition. Participants were 49 men with schizophrenia spectrum disorders in a postacute phase of illness. Spearman Rho correlations revealed awareness of one's thoughts and feelings were more closely linked to performance on tests which required mental flexibility while recognizing others' needs, and independent relationships were more closely linked to performance on tasks which required inhibitory control. Results suggest different domains of metacognition may be influenced by and influence different neurocognitive processes.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Attention
  • Awareness*
  • Cognition Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Cognition Disorders / psychology
  • Emotions
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Inhibition, Psychological
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Personal Construct Theory*
  • Problem Solving*
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales / statistics & numerical data
  • Psychometrics
  • Psychotic Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Psychotic Disorders / psychology
  • Schizophrenia / diagnosis*
  • Schizophrenic Psychology*
  • Thinking*