Abstract Research into the primary-secondary dimension of miscommunications has indicated that schizophrenics commit more primary than secondary errors and that they commit more of both of these errors than do nonschizophrenics. This study, motivated by the need to delineate the roles played by the ambiguity of communications used in tests and by the chronicity of the schizophrenic's thought disorder, utilized 24 noun homographs in a 48-item interpretation Test. The test was scored for primary, secondary, concrete, and abstract errors. A total of 20 chronic schizophrenics, 20 acute schizophrenics, and 20 nonschizophrenics, matched for vocabulary level, highest educational grade attained, and parental social class, were employed. Schizophrenics committed more abstract and overall errors than did the nonschizophrenics. The schizophrenics also committed more abstract than concrete errors. Contrary to previous research, a greater primacy error preference for schizophrenics was not obtained. References 1. Chapman LJ: Confusion of figurative and literal usages of words by schizophrenics and brain damaged patients . J Abnorm Soc Psychol 60:412-416, 1960.Crossref 2. Chapman LJ, Chapman JP, Miller GA: A theory of verbal behavior in schizophrenia , in Maher B (ed): Progress in Experimental Personality Research . New York, Academic Press Inc, 1964. 3. Chapman LJ, et al: Regression and disorders of thought . J Abnorm Soc Psychol 63:540-545, 1961.Crossref 4. Benjamin TB, Watt NF: Psychopathology and semantic interpretation of ambiguous words . J Abnorm Psychol 74:706-714, 1969.Crossref 5. Dunn LM: Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test . Minnesota, Circle Pines, American Guidance Service Inc, 1959. 6. Miller B: A note on the use of Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test with adult schizophrenics . J Clin Psychol 28:494-495, 1972.Crossref 7. Hollingshead AB, Redlich FC: Social Class and Mental Illness . New York, John Wiley & Sons Inc, 1958. 8. Winer BJ: Statistical Principles in Experimental Design . New York, McGraw-Hill Book Co Inc, 1962. 9. Siegel S: Nonparametric Statistics for the Behavioral Sciences . New York, McGraw-Hill Book Co Inc, 1956. 10. Shimkunas AM, Gynther MD, Smith K: Schizophrenic responses to the Proverbs Test: Abstract, concrete or autistic? J Abnorm Psychol 72:128-131, 1967.Crossref 11. Shimkunas AM: Reciprocal shifts in schizophrenic thought processes . J Abnorm Psychol 76:423-426, 1970.Crossref
Archives of General Psychiatry – American Medical Association
Published: Apr 1, 1974
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