Thursday, May 29, 2008

Heard the one about the schizophrenic ...

Humour is an important part of daily life. Not only does it bring pleasure and enjoyment in itself it is also considered a positive social trait that facilitates social interaction and bonding. There is substantial evidence that people with schizophrenia have deficits in social cognition, which includes recognizing other's mental states (theory of mind), social perception and attributional style. These skills are likely to play an important role in humour appreciation yet there have been relatively few studies examining this subject. A study of 60 people (30 with schizophrenia and a 30-strong control group) by researchers at the University of Sheffield asked participants to identify humorous moments in four slapstick-comedy films. The participants were asked to press a buzzer for every funny moment and asked about their reactions to the films afterwards. Compared to the control group the people with schizophrenia were less able to detect humour, although when they did detect it they appreciated it as much.

Tsoi, D. T.-Y. ... [et al] - Humour experience in schizophrenia: relationship with executive dysfunction and psychosocial impairment Psychological Medicine June 2008, 38(6), 801-810

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