Master of Arts (MA)
Avolition/apathy, defined as reduced initiation of or persistence in goal-directed behavior, is a pernicious, core negative symptom of schizophrenia. While deficits in effort-based decision-making have been proposed to underlie negative symptom deficits, it remains unknown whether subjective or objective motivation deficits are evident in individuals with elevated schizotypy, a trait associated with putative latent liability of developing psychosis. Thus, the present study examined whether and how objective and subjective motivation deficits manifest in individuals high (n = 57) versus low (n = 58) in schizotypy traits (based on a median-split of total experience scores on the Schizotypal Personality Questionnaire –Brief Revised Impact) using an objective performance-based effort task and subjective measures of state and trait motivation. Compared to the low schizotypy group, the high schizotypy group self-reported lower trait but not state motivation. Counter to expectations, groups did not differ in willingness to exert higher effort for higher rewards on the effort task. Subjective ratings of state motivation were related to objective performance on the effort task in the low schizotypy group, but not in the high schizotypy group. Implications for this dysjunction between subjective and objective performance in relation to the schizophrenia spectrum are discussed.
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McGovern, Jessica Elaina, "Effort-Based Decision-Making in Schizotypy" (2014). LSU Master's Theses. 2552.
Cohen, Alex S.