Sex differences in Wisconsin Schizotypy Scales--a meta-analysis

Schizophr Bull. 2010 Mar;36(2):347-58. doi: 10.1093/schbul/sbn075. Epub 2008 Jul 21.


Previous single studies have found inconsistent results on sex differences in positive schizotypy, women scoring mainly higher than men, whereas in negative schizotypy studies have often found that men score higher than women. However, information on the overall effect is unknown. In this study, meta-analytic methods were used to estimate sex differences in Wisconsin Schizotypy Scales developed to measure schizotypal traits and psychosis proneness. We also studied the effect of the sample characteristics on possible differences. Studies on healthy populations were extensively collected; the required minimum sample size was 50. According to the results, men scored higher on the scales of negative schizotypy, ie, in the Physical Anhedonia Scale (n = 23 studies, effect size, Cohen d = 0.59, z test P < .001) and Social Anhedonia Scale (n = 14, d = 0.44, P < .001). Differences were virtually nonexistent in the measurements of the positive schizotypy, ie, the Magical Ideation Scale (n = 29, d = -0.01, P = .74) and Perceptual Aberration Scale (n = 22, d = -0.08, P = .05). The sex difference was larger in studies with nonstudent and older samples on the Perceptual Aberration Scale (d = -0.19 vs d = -0.03, P < .05). This study was the first one to pool studies on sex differences in these scales. The gender differences in social anhedonia both in nonclinical samples and in schizophrenia may relate to a broader aspect of social and interpersonal deficits. The results should be taken into account in studies using these instruments.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Affective Symptoms / diagnosis
  • Affective Symptoms / epidemiology
  • Affective Symptoms / psychology
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Motivation
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales / statistics & numerical data*
  • Psychometrics / statistics & numerical data
  • Reference Values
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Schizotypal Personality Disorder / diagnosis*
  • Schizotypal Personality Disorder / epidemiology*
  • Sex Factors
  • Young Adult