Comparison of the ability to mentalization in patients with schizophrenia and schizoaffective psychosis based on the methodology «Understanding the mental state of theeyes»



We present the data of the survey of patients with schizophrenia, schizoaffective psychosis and a group of mentally healthy people using the test «Understanding the mental state of the eyes» («Eyes test») by Baron-Cohen, aimed at assessing the capacity for mentalization. We describe the procedure for selecting the most valid test cards for Russian sample of subjects. It is shown that the results of the test «Eyes» of schizoaffective disorder patients are intermediate between patients with schizophrenia and healthy subjects, 1. ability for mentalization they save more than patients with schizophrenia. The findings are discussed in the context of theoretical models of the spectrum of mental pathology. The data of the survey of patients and healthy subjects, additional procedures aimed at identifying the communication capacity for mentalization with the severity of psychopathology (Hospital scale questionnaire SCL-90-R) and social motivation in the form of focus on the contact with others and the ability to enjoy them (The scale of social avoidance and distress scale Brief fear of negative evaluation, social anhedonia scale), as well as focus on the mental and emotional sphere of life (Toronto alexithymia scale). Based on the correlation analysis of the data concludes that there is a statistically significant inverse association between the ability to mentalization, on the one hand, and the severity of psychopathology and the reduction of social orientation – on the other

General Information

Keywords: mentalization, schizophrenia, schizoaffective psychosis, schizophrenia spectrum, the spectrum model, the definition of the mental state of the eyes, social motivation, social anhedonia, social anxiety

Journal rubric: Psychodiagnostics

Article type: scientific article


For citation: Kholmogorova A.B., Moskacheva M.A., Rychkova O.V., Pugovkina O.D., Krasnova-Goleva V.V., Dolnykova A., Tsarenko D.M., Rumyantseva Y.M. Comparison of the ability to mentalization in patients with schizophrenia and schizoaffective psychosis based on the methodology «Understanding the mental state of theeyes». Eksperimental'naâ psihologiâ = Experimental Psychology (Russia), 2015. Vol. 8, no. 3, pp. 99–117. DOI: 10.17759/exppsy.2015080310. (In Russ., аbstr. in Engl.)


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Information About the Authors

Alla B. Kholmogorova, Doctor of Psychology, Professor, Dean of the Faculty of Counseling and Clinical Psychology, Moscow State University of Psychology & Education, Leading Researcher, Moscow Research Institute of Psychiatry (A Branch of the National Medical Research Centre for Psychiatry and Narcology), Moscow, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:

Mariya A. Moskacheva, Junior Researcher, Laboratory of Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy, State Research Center for Social and Forensic Psychiatry named after V.P. Serbsky, Ministry of Health of Russia, Moscow, Russia, e-mail:

Olga V. Rychkova, Doctor of Psychology, Professor of the Department of clinical psychology and psychotherapy, Deputy Dean for Educational and Methodological Work, Moscow State University of Psychology & Education, Moscow, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:

Olga D. Pugovkina, PhD in Psychology, Assistant Professor, Chair of Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy, Department of Clinical and Counseling Psychology, Moscow State University of Psychology & Education, Senior Research Associate, Department of Clinical Psychology and Psychological Counseling, Moscow Research Institute of Psychiatry — Branch of The Serbsky Federal Medical Research Center for Psychiatry and Narcology, Moscow, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:

Victoria V. Krasnova-Goleva, PhD in Psychology, esearch fellow of the laboratory of clinical psychology and psychotherapy, Moscow Research Institute of Psychiatry of the Russian Federation, Moscow, Russia, e-mail:

Alexandra Dolnykova, Researcher, Laboratory of Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy, State Research Center for Social and Forensic Psychiatry named after V.P. Serbsky, Moscow, Russia, e-mail:

Dmitry M. Tsarenko, PhD in Medicine, senior researcher, Laboratory of Psychological Counseling and Psychotherapy, Moscow Research Institute of Psychiatry— Branch of The Serbsky Federal Medical Research Center for Psychiatry and Narcology, Moscow, Russia, e-mail:

Yu. M. Rumyantseva, Clinical psychologist, Psychiatric Hospital named after P.B. Gannushkin, Moscow, Russia, e-mail:



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