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Thirty-Third Annual Meeting of the Society for Research in Psychopathology

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157. Social Cognition Psychometric Evaluation in an Undergraduate Sample

The Social Cognition Psychometric Evaluation (SCOPE) study identified a battery of social cognitive tasks that were deemed suitable for use within a clinical population. Although the SCOPE project also utilized a community sample of healthy volunteers to act as healthy controls, a good deal of research is performed with more educated, undergraduate volunteers. Whether the psychometric properties of these tasks extend to a healthy, undergraduate population has not yet been determined. The current study administered the original SCOPE battery, including the Ambiguous Intentions Hostility Questionnaire (AIHQ), Bell Lysaker Emotion Recognition Task (BLERT), Penn Emotion Recognition Task (ER-40), Relationships Across Domains (RAD), Reading the Mind in the Eyes Task (Eyes), The Awareness of Social Inferences Test (TASIT), Hinting Task, and Trustworthiness Task, to a sample of 267 healthy undergraduates. Tasks were evaluated for floor and ceiling effects, the relationship to social functioning and cognitive performance, and internal consistency. Results indicate that the psychometric properties demonstrated in the SCOPE study do not fully extend to a healthy undergraduate population. In particular, ceiling effects on Hinting were evident in 22% of the sample, and internal consistency for most tasks was below recommended standards. Relationships to social functioning and cognition were all relatively small. These findings challenge the use of these tasks as they currently exist in undergraduate research, and highlights areas for improvement in social cognition task development.

Hans Klein
University of Texas at Dallas

Amy Pinkham
University of Texas at Dallas


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