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Discuss the concept and implication of Schizotypy as a personality trait.

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Introduction

Discuss the concept and implication of Schizotypy as a personality trait. Gruzelier (1996) suggest that "schizotypy consists mainly of impulsive non-conformity, social anxiety, positive features such as unusual perceptions, and negative features such as introversions." (Cited in Miller P, et al. 2002, p.179). In this essay one would like to explore the definition given to 'schizotypy' and to give a brief discussion on this concept and whether schizotypy is a single trait or whether there are more factors to be considered, for it was conceptualized by Eysenck as a single personality trait named psychoticism, however it was Claridge's work that suggested that this personality trait was much more complex, and that such scales, namely Ensenck's psychoticism scale (P), "tap up to four different components that map onto the clinical heterogeneity of schizophrenia (and potentially other forms of psychosis)" (Mason, O. 1995, P.272). And so therefore this leads onto another question of, if it is not a single trait then what are the other factors? This essay will also look into the differences with other similar constructs such as schizophrenia, and whether there are aspects of schizotypy that predict future schizophrenia? Finally discussing evidence in coherence to these questions and the types of instruments used, e.g. questionnaires and structured interviews, and how reliable these can be, finishing with a general overview of how one might perceive a personality trait to be, in specific relation to schizotypy. ...read more.

Middle

Bentall, Claridge, and Slade (1989) combined a large battery of scales used previously to assess schizotypal traits-the combined schizotypal traits questionnaire (CSTQ). It was suggested that factor analysis of the data from a large number of participants has revealed four factors: unusual experiences (The disposition to have unusual perceptual and other cognitive experiences, such as hallucinations, magical or superstitious belief and interpretation of events) cognitive disorganization (A tendency for thoughts to become derailed, disorganized or tangential), introvertive anhedonia (which is basically the absence of pleasure from the performance of acts that would normally be pleasurable) and impulsive non-conformity (The disposition to unstable mood and behavior particularly with regard to rules and social conventions.). As the CSTQ included many previous questionnaires used to measure schizotypy, it was considered too long and repetitive. Therefore, Mason et al. (1995) developed a new scale, the Oxford-Liverpool Inventory of Feelings and Experiences (OLIFE), for evaluating schizotypal traits that was said to reliably measure the same four factors as the CSTQ but less repetitive. Gray et al, hoped by doing this study that with the OLIFE questionnaire would help discover different dimensions of schizotypy, and their relationship to cognitive dysfunction, which could then be isolated and examined. Some fact quoted in this study by Zuckerman, Kuhlman, & Camac, (1988) suggest that the OLIFE scale is more akin to a measure psychopathy and criminality rather than schizophrenia. ...read more.

Conclusion

they were standerd O/Levels GCSE's or A/Level standard also looking for problems related to reading or writing, psychotic symptoms rated fully by clients own account, 'social class of origin' these were all examples of items that were used to compare two control samples if they showed any evidence of delusions, hallucinations or other behavior commonly present in schizophrenia it was hypothesized that 20-30 subjects would develop schizophrenia by the age of 30 years. (Edinburh High Risk Study, 1999). In conclusion to this essay, some fact given in Miller 2002, p.183 suggested that 'isolated shizotypal symptoms and signs are seldom precursors of an impending onset of shizophrenia'. The best all-round predictor given for the onset of other personality disorders i.e, 'schizophrenia', appears to be social withdrawal. However, the exact nature of the relationship between schizotypy and diagnosable psychotic illness is still debatable and it has not yet been decided whether the syndrome is most clearly marked by social withdrawal and other "negative" symptoms or by temporary "positive" symptoms or, indeed, whether schizotypy can be divided into several syndromes, such as the three-syndrome model suggested by Gruzelier. It might be suggested whether schizotypy leads to schizophrenia or can be answered only by longitudinal studies (as can the obverse of this question-Is schizophrenia preceded by schizotypy?). Longitudinal studies of at least two groups-relatives of patients with schizophrenia and college students who score high on schizotypy scales-need to be carried out. ?? ?? ?? ?? 1 ...read more.

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