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Cognitive insight in psychosis: The relationship between self-certainty and self-reflection dimensions and neuropsychological measures

Authors
Journal
Psychiatry Research
0165-1781
Publisher
Elsevier
Publication Date
Volume
178
Issue
2
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1016/j.psychres.2009.05.009
Keywords
  • Article
Disciplines
  • Law
  • Psychology

Abstract

Cognitive insight in schizophrenia encompasses the evaluation and reinterpretation of distorted beliefs and appraisals. We investigated the neuropsychological basis of cognitive insight in psychosis. It was predicted that, like clinical insight, cognitive insight would be associated with a wide range of neuropsychological functions, but would be most strongly associated with measures of executive function. Sixty-five outpatients with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder were assessed on tests of intelligence quotient (IQ), executive function, verbal fluency, attention and memory, and completed the Beck Cognitive Insight Scale, which includes two subscales, self-certainty and self-reflection. Higher self-certainty scores reflect greater certainty about being right and more resistant to correction (poor insight), while higher self-reflection scores indicate the expression of introspection and the willingness to acknowledge fallibility (good insight). The self-certainty dimension of poor cognitive insight was significantly associated with lower scores on the Behavioural Assessment of Dysexecutive Syndrome; this relationship was not mediated by IQ. There were no relationships between self-reflection and any neuropsychological measures. We conclude that greater self-certainty (poor cognitive insight) is modestly associated with poorer executive function in psychotic individuals; self-reflection has no association with executive function. The self-certainty and self-reflection dimensions of cognitive insight have differential correlates, and probably different mechanisms, in psychosis.

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