The Nature of Symptoms
This chapter analyzes the symptoms of schizophrenia, focusing on the “positive”triad of hallucinations, delusions, and thought disorder. Studies have shed light on the mental processes that mediate positive symptoms. The range of processes includes several forms of altered cognitive monitoring, the mind failing to supervise itself, plus a possible breakdown in attention. In addition, abnormally enhanced sensitivity to word meanings and relationships and a kind of impulsive tendency to construct meanings or make decisions too quickly appear to be involved in positive symptoms. Finally, some symptoms arise in conjunction with a bias in understanding the social world, a bias that places a negative value on the actions and motives of other people.
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