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Schizophrenia Research and Treatment
Volume 2012, Article ID 495174, 8 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2012/495174
Research Article

Do People with Schizophrenia Lack Emotional Intelligence?

1School of Psychology, The University of Adelaide, Adelaide, SA 5000, Australia
2The Adelaide Clinic, Ramsay Health Care (SA) Mental Health Services, Gilberton, SA 5000, Australia
3Discipline of Psychiatry, School of Medicine, The University of Adelaide, Adelaide, SA 5000, Australia
4Northern Mental Health, Adelaide Metro Mental Health Directorate, Adelaide, SA 5000, Australia
5The Adelaide Clinic Consulting Suites, 33 Park Terrace, Gilberton, SA 5081, Australia

Received 12 September 2012; Revised 26 November 2012; Accepted 29 November 2012

Academic Editor: Robin Emsley

Copyright © 2012 Sara Dawson 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.

Abstract

Social cognition is a domain of cognitive function that includes the ability to understand and manage social interactions. Emotional intelligence (EI) has been identified as a component of social cognition and is defined as the ability to identify, use, understand, and manage emotions. Neurocognitive impairments are known to be associated with poorer social function in people with schizophrenia, but less is known about the relationships between EI, neurocognition, and social function. The current study assessed EI using the Mayer-Salovey-Caruso Emotional Intelligence Test (MSCEIT) in 20 people with schizophrenia and 20 controls. The schizophrenia group had significantly lower scores on all measures of EI and demonstrated poorer neurocognition and social functioning than controls. The difference between schizophrenia and control groups was greatest for the Understanding Emotions Branch of the MSCEIT. The neurocognition score and total EI score accounted for 18.3% of the variance in social function in the control group and 9.1% of the variance in social function in the schizophrenia group. Our results suggest that a total EI score is not a useful predictor of overall social function and it may be more clinically useful to develop an individual profile of social cognitive abilities, including EI, to form a remediation program.