Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation

Degree Name

Ph. D.


Psychological and Brain Sciences

Committee Chair

Lewine, Richard R.

Committee Co-Chair (if applicable)

Casanova, Manuel

Committee Member

Casanova, Manuel

Committee Member

Irby, Jay

Committee Member

Meeks, Suzanne


Schizophrenia; Thought and thinking


The Recovery Model of mental illness, emerging as the new zeitgeist in regards to treatment, emphasizes the optimization of functioning for each individual, using personal strengths and preferences to drive the recovery process. Thought disorder has long been considered a core symptom of schizophrenia and has been implicated in multiple domains of functional outcome. In spite of its relationship to functioning and substantial heterogeneity of the phenomenon, little to no research has examined potential factors which may be related to these differences in thought disorder and its related domains of functioning. The current study proposes that “normal” personality traits, such as those captured by the widely accepted Five-Factor Model (FFM), may be of particular utility in understanding the differences among individuals with schizophrenia, consistent with the Recovery Model’s attention to individual differences. This dissertation specifically explores the relationship between personality and thought disorder in schizophrenia. Participants in the study were assessed for thought disorder and personality via the Thought Disorder Index and the Big Five Inventory, respectively. It was hypothesized that 1) personality would be related to the severity of thought disorder, and 2) personality would be related to the characteristics of thought disorder observed. It was also hypothesized that significant personality differences within the sample would emerge. Hypotheses were partially supported. Three clusters with significant personality differences emerged within the sample. While personality and the severity of thought disorder were not related, personality was related to the quality of thought disorder. Results suggest that personality may be related to the heterogeneity of thought disorder within the schizophrenia population. Additionally, results indicate those with a diagnosis of schizophrenia demonstrate distinct personalities which distinguish them as individuals, may be relevant to functional outcome, and inform intervention.

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Psychology Commons