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Metacognition and psychosis-spectrum experiences: a study of objective and subjective measures

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Emma C. Palmer-Cooper, Abigail C. Wright, Nicola Maguire, Marcella Montagnese, Viktor Dlugunovych, Matteo Cella, Til Wykes

Original languageEnglish
JournalSchizophrenia Research
Accepted/In press11 Dec 2022
Published14 Jan 2023

King's Authors


Metacognition refers to appraising one's thoughts and behaviours. Deficits in metacognition are associated with psychosis-spectrum experiences, such as hallucinations and delusions, in both clinical and non-clinical populations. Assessments of metacognitive function and abilities in clinical populations often vary in administration duration, and subjectivity of scores. This study investigates associations between different measures of metacognition and their prediction of psychosis spectrum experiences using objective and self-report measures in a cross-sectional study of psychosis-spectrum disorder (PSD) participants and controls.

Twenty-three individuals with PSD and forty-four controls were recruited online and completed in-the-moment objective ratings of metacognitive accuracy (meta-Dots Task), and retrospective self-report of metacognitive self-reflection (Beck Cognitive Insight Scale) and abilities (Metacognition Self-Assessment Scale).

There were group differences in self-reported metacognition, with PSD participants having lower scores of metacognitive ability, but no differences in self-reflectiveness or objective metacognitive accuracy. In the PSD group, only self-reported metacognitive ability was associated with and predicted distress about, and conviction in, delusional thoughts.

The findings demonstrate group differences in some self-reported, but not objective, measures of metacognition, and highlight that prediction of PSD experiences depends on the metacognitive construct being measured, and the type of measurement used.

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