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Schizophrenia Research and Treatment
Volume 2011, Article ID 769136, 5 pages
Clinical Study

First- and Third-Person Perspectives in Psychotic Disorders and Mood Disorders with Psychotic Features

Psychiatric Branch, Department of Medicine, Dentistry and Surgery, University of Milan Medical School, San Paolo Hospital, Via Antonio di Rudinì 8, 20142 Milan, Italy

Received 20 December 2009; Revised 27 May 2010; Accepted 14 July 2010

Academic Editor: Veena Kumari

Copyright © 2011 Lucrezia Islam et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Lack of insight, very frequent in schizophrenia, can be considered a deficit in Theory of Mind (ToM) performances, and is also found in other psychiatric disorders. In this study, we used the first- to third-person shift to examine subjects with psychotic and psychotic mood disorders. 92 patients were evaluated with SANS and SAPS scales and asked to talk about their delusions. They were asked to state whether they thought what they said was believable for them and for the interviewer. Two weeks later, 79 patients listened to a tape where their delusion was reenacted by two actors and were asked the same two questions. Some patients gained insight when using third-person perspective. These patients had lower SAPS scores, a lower score on SAPS item on delusions, and significant improvement in their SAPS delusion score at the second interview. Better insight was not related to a specific diagnostic group.