Article

Emotional Experience in Patients With Schizophrenia Revisited: Meta-analysis of Laboratory Studies

Department of Psychology, Louisiana State University, 206 Audubon Hall Baton Rouge, LA 708080, USA.
Schizophrenia Bulletin (Impact Factor: 8.61). 07/2008; 36(1):143-50. DOI: 10.1093/schbul/sbn061
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Our understanding of the emotion deficits in schizophrenia is limited. Findings from studies employing trait emotion instruments
suggest that patients have attenuated levels of positive emotion (ie, anhedonia) and increased levels of negative emotion.
Conversely, patients and controls have not statistically differed in their subjective reactions to positive or negative valenced
stimuli in most laboratory studies to date. Further obfuscating this issue is the fact that many of these laboratory studies
are underpowered and a handful of emotion induction studies have found evidence of anhedonia. We conducted a meta-analysis
of 26 published studies employing laboratory emotion induction procedures in patients with schizophrenia and healthy controls.
Patients did not differ from controls when strictly rating their subjective hedonic reactions to the stimuli. However, they
reported experiencing relatively strong aversion to both positive and neutral stimuli (Hedges D = .72 and .64, respectively). These findings were not the result of demonstrable sample or methodological differences across
studies. Patients’ ability to experience hedonic emotion is preserved, although they also show relatively strong, simultaneously
occurring aversive emotion when processing laboratory stimuli considered by others to be pleasant or neutral.

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