Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Clinical Psychology



First Advisor

Nicholas Papouchis

Committee Chair and Members

Nicholas Papouchis, Chair

Kevin Meehan

Matthew Morrison


Emotion regulation difficulties, Negative affect, Schizotypy, SSFT, Theory of mind


Theory of mind (ToM) impairment, emotion regulation (ER) difficulties, and negative affect have been identified as major deficits in schizotypy. The existing literature on schizotypy and ToM has yielded inconsistent findings, with some studies finding ToM deficits in overall schizotypy, other studies finding ToM deficits in only specific schizotypy dimensions, and other studies finding no ToM deficits in schizotypy at all. The current study proposed to address these discrepant findings by using a measure of overall schizotypy, the Schizotypal Personality Questionnaire-Brief Revised (Updated; SPQ-BRU) and a new measure specific schizotypy dimensions, the Multidimensional Schizotypy Scale (MSS). The current study used the Frith-Happé animations (FHA) and Strange Stories Film Task (SSFT) to tap ToM abilities, the Difficulties in Emotion Regulation Scale (DERS) to measure ER difficulties, and the Implicit Positive and Negative Affect Test (IPANAT) to measure implicit state affect. It was predicted that overall schizotypy would predict ToM impairment. In addition, it was hypothesized that ER difficulties would mediate the relationship between overall schizotypy and ToM. Finally, it was hypothesized that negative affect might moderate this relationship. Results of the study did not confirm the study hypotheses. However, exploratory analyses yielded partial support for the study hypotheses. Negative schizotypy was found to predict lower ToM performance on both ToM measures. Further, extreme-group design (EGD) analyses revealed that high schizotypy groups showed weaker performance on the SSFT. The high negative schizotypy group also performed worse on the FHA. These results suggest implications for the methodological approaches to studying ToM in schizotypy and conceptualizing the latent structure of schizotypy.