The incidence of schizotypy in new religious movements
Journal/Book: Pers Indiv Differ. 1999; 27: the Boulevard Langford Lane, Kidlington, Oxford Ox5 1GB, England. Pergamon-Elsevier Science Ltd. 55-67.
Abstract: Work into schizotypy, or ''psychosis-proneness'' (Claridge, 1987), has shown that certain individuals have similar experiences to the positive symptoms of schizophrenia while remaining functioning members of society. The Oxford and Liverpool Inventory of Feelings and Experiences (O-LIFE; Mason, Claridge, & Jackson, 1995), which measures four factors of schizotypy symptomatology, and the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS; Zigmond & Snaith, 1983) were administered to members of New Religious Movements (NRMs). As predicted, they scored higher on the Unusual Experiences factor, which measures positive symptomatology, and the Schizotypal Personality questionnaire (STA; Claridge & Broks, 1984), than the two control groups (non-religious and mainstream Christians). The NRMs group scored significantly higher than the non-religious, but not the religious group. On the factor of Introvertive Anhedonia, which measures negative symptomatology, suggesting that this factor may be related to religion rather than NRMs per se. The NRMs did not score significantly differently to the two religious controls on the factors of Cognitive Disorganisation, Impulsive Nonconformity, Extraversion and the anxiety measure. The NRMs were more depressed than the Christian, but not the non-religious group, and their mean score was well within the normal range. There were, however, several significant correlations between depression, anxiety, and the schizotypy measures. Overall, these findings suggest that positive schizotypal traits, specifically, are present in functioning individuals who belong to NRMs, offering further support both for the continuity view of psychosis, and for the multidimensionality of psychosis-proneness. The notion of the ''happy schizotype'', however, was not entirely supported.
Note: Article Peters E, UCL, Subdept Clin Hlth Psychol, London WC1E, ENGLAND
Keyword(s): new religious movements; schizotypy; positive symptomatology; religion; HOSPITAL ANXIETY; DEPRESSION SCALE; HARE KRISHNAS; PERSONALITY; REPLICATION; TRAITS; SCHIZOPHRENIA; POPULATION; INHIBITION; BELIEF