Childhood trauma as a risk factor for psychosis: A sib-pair study.
There is evidence from research based on self-report personality measures that schizophrenia patients tend to be lower in extraversion and higher in neuroticism than healthy individuals. Self-report personality measures assess aspects of the explicit self-concept. The Implicit Association Test (IAT) has been developed to assess aspects of implicit cognition such as implicit attitudes and implicit personality traits. The present study was conducted to investigate the applicability and reliability of the IAT in schizophrenia patients and test whether they differ from healthy individuals on implicitly measured extraversion and neuroticism. The IAT and the NEO-FFI were administered as implicit and explicit measures of extraversion and neuroticism to 34 schizophrenia patients and 45 healthy subjects. For all IAT scores satisfactory to good reliabilities were observed in the patient sample. In both study groups, IAT scores were not related to NEO-FFI scores. Schizophrenia patients were lower in implicit and explicit extraversion and higher in implicit and explicit neuroticism than healthy individuals. Our data show that the IAT can be reliably applied to schizophrenia patients and suggest that they differ from healthy individuals not only in their conscious representation but also in their implicit representation of the self with regard to neuroticism and extraversion-related characteristics.