Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Common sense, logic and schizophrenia

Common sense and logic are not always in agreement and a new study by British researchers suggests that there might be differences in the way people with schizophrenia approach conflicts between the two compared to other people. 36 people took part in the study. Participants were given a series of statements in the form of a syllogism (e.g. all plants photosynthesize, grass is a plant, therefore grass photosynthesizes) and were told that, for the purposes of the study, they should treat the first two parts of the syllogism as true. Some of the syllogisms were perfectly logical but their content was nonsense e.g. all buildings speak, hospitals do not speak therefore hospitals are not buildings while others were illogical but grounded in common sense e.g. if the sun rises then the sun is in the east, the sun is in the east, therefore the sun rises. People with schizophrenia were more successful on the task suggesting that theoretical thinking was more important to them than commonsense.

You can find out more about this study at

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