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10. Introspective Accuracy for Social Competence in Psychometric Schizotypy
Some social skill deficits have been identified in schizotypy, however most studies rely on self-reports of social skills. Deficits in introspective accuracy (i.e., accurately estimating one’s own abilities; IA) have been identified within schizophrenia, and recent work suggests IA is impaired in schizotypy as well. Thus, individuals high in schizotypal traits may perceive that they have deficits in social skills; however, they may not be assessing their own abilities accurately. The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between schizotypy, perceived social competence, and observed social competence. Individuals high in schizotypal traits reported significantly greater deficits in social competence than low schizotypy controls (d=1.09) despite performing comparably to controls on an objective assessment of social skill (d=.15). In contrast, controls reported significantly better social competence than those high in schizotypal traits, but again, they did not perform better than the schizotypy group. Thus, both groups demonstrated impairments in IA. Additionally, IA was identified as a significant predictor of social functioning (B=-.32). These findings suggest that individuals high in schizotypal traits perceive that they have poor social competence and may therefore avoid social interactions or employment opportunities. Such a process could contribute to deficits in social and occupational functioning.