Expressed emotion is a measure of how much emotion is displayed in the family of someone with a mental-health problem. High expressed emotion is made up of hostility (blaming the sufferer for their problem), emotional overinvolvement (blaming oneself) and critical attitudes and is often thought to be a risk factor for the development of schizophrenia. The cognitive problems that go along with schizophrenia are thought to make people more vulnerable to the negative effects of expressed emotion. Researchers from Semmelweis University in Hungary studied 80 people with schizophrenia, testing their cognition, counting the number of harsh comments made to them by relatives and recording their unusual thoughts. They found that the links between criticism and unusual thoughts were strongest in patients who had problems with attention and immediate memory.
Keri, Szabolcs and Kelemen, Oguz - The role of attention and immediate memory in vulnerability to interpersonal criticism during family transactions British Journal of Clinical Psychology March 2009, 48(1), 21-29