New Research: Why do people with schizophrenia misinterpret social cues?

In a new study, researchers have found that patients with schizophrenia are able to interpret meaningful gestures and incidental movements as accurately as healthy subjects. However, when the direction of the gestures was ambiguous (i.e. not obviously directed at or away from them), they were much more likely to misinterpret the gestures as being directed towards them.

According to the researchers, this could indicate an increased tendency to self-infer these ambiguous social cues or to ‘hyper-mentalise’, whereby intent is falsely inferred from the actions of others. Both of these misinterpretations could underpin the incidence of paranoid thought experienced by patients with schizophrenia, suggest the study authors. The patients’ confidence in their interpretation was found to be strongly associated with their propensity to experience hallucinatory symptoms.

Professor Sukhi Shergill from the Department of Psychosis Studies, said: 'Humans are social beings, often finding joy in interacting with others. While most attention is on talking with each other, non-verbal behaviour such as gestures, body movement and facial expression also play a very important role in conveying the message.

'However, the message being conveyed is not always clear, or perceived as a positive one, and an extreme example is evident in patients suffering from schizophrenia who show a strong tendency to misinterpret the intentions of other people in a malevolent manner.


To my mind , a sz becomes so intolerant of stress, they eventually becomes intolerant of language , thought , light basically anything they can sense.

I told my co-worker I had schizophrenia…

Co-worker: “So I guess you can’t watch football games than, eh?”

Me: “What do you mean?”

Co-worker: “Because you think all of the players are talking about you in the huddle.”

(He wasn’t far off…lol!)

Im not misinterpretting anything, i just hate ■■■■■■■ social cues, they annoy me intensely and i hate them.

This isn’t your ■■■■■■■ play and you didn’t write the script, there are no cues actually. Most of the cues i see are born out of insane desire anyway, ■■■■ that.

If you study people long enough you can see all of their body movements mean something actually and they all have an internal or external cause. It’s quite interesting.

They think im misinterpretting, nope, im just done here and i want out, i hate earth, it’s a nightmare and i hate it. I get the cues just fine, i just don’t give a ■■■■ about them in the least because im preoccupied with the very real possibility of being drowned in searing ash from the volcanoes.

I personally get a kick out of doing that.

I would think it has something to do with the initial psychotic episode. Your reality gets so twisted and delusions and hallucinations are so strong it creates severe trauma.
Then when you come out of it, nothing is ever quite the same.
Hence, when something is not clearly directed at us, and we are unsure of the gestures’ scope, our psyche recalls the psychosis and the ego goes into self defense mode. Better to defend ourselves for the possible negative than to believe it to be positive and be wrong.
Make sense to anyone?


Sensory overload does me in