"Theory of mind" and executive functioning in forensic patients with schizophrenia.


Previous studies in forensic patients with schizophrenia have shown that delinquent patients may outperform nondelinquent patients with regards to "theory of mind" (ToM). Findings were, however, confounded by a lack of control for executive functioning. We examined 33 forensic patients with schizophrenia regarding ToM, intelligence, executive functioning, and psychopathology. Results were compared with a nonforensic schizophrenia sample and a group of healthy controls. Both patient groups performed more poorly on most measures compared with controls. Forensic and nonforensic patients did not differ in task performance. In the forensic group ToM correlated inversely with "excitement" and cognitive symptoms. When "excitement" was covaried out, forensic patients outperformed nonforensic patients with regards to ToM. This study supports the hypothesis that schizophrenic patients with a criminal record are equally impaired in their ability to infer mental states compared with nonforensic patients, but for different reasons associated with a divergent psychopathological profile.

DOI: 10.1111/j.1556-4029.2008.00966.x

Cite this paper

@article{Majorek2009TheoryOM, title={"Theory of mind" and executive functioning in forensic patients with schizophrenia.}, author={Karina Majorek and Wiebke Wolfk{\"{u}hler and Christian K{\"{u}per and Nahlah Saimeh and Georg Juckel and Martin Br{\"{u}ne}, journal={Journal of forensic sciences}, year={2009}, volume={54 2}, pages={469-73} }