Publication Date



Background: Impairments in self-assessment are common in people with schizophrenia and impairments in self-assessment of cognitive ability have been found to predict impaired functional outcome. In this study, we examined self-assessment of social cognitive ability and related them to assessments of social cognition provided by informants, to performance on tests of social cognition, and to everyday outcomes. The difference between self-reported social cognition and informant ratings was used to predict everyday functioning. Methods: People with schizophrenia (n = 135) performed 8 different tests of social cognition. They were asked to rate their social cognitive abilities on the Observable Social Cognition Rating Scale (OSCARs). High contact informants also rated social cognitive ability and everyday outcomes, while unaware of the patients' social cognitive performance and self-assessments. Social competence was measured with a performance-based assessment and clinical ratings of negative symptoms were also performed. Results: Patient reports of their social cognitive abilities were uncorrelated with performance on social cognitive tests and with three of the four domains of functional outcomes. Differences between self-reported and informant rated social cognitive ability predicted impaired everyday functioning across all four functional domains. This difference score predicted disability even when the influences of social cognitive performance, social competence, and negative symptoms were considered. Implications: Mis-estimation of social cognitive ability was an important predictor of social and nonsocial outcomes in schizophrenia compared to performance on social cognitive tests. These results suggest that consideration of self-assessment is critical when attempting to evaluate the causes of disability and when trying to implement interventions targeting disability reduction.


School of Psychology

Document Type

Journal Article

Access Rights

ERA Access

Access may be restricted.