Schizotypy is defined as a combination of traits qualitatively similar to those found in schizophrenia, though in a minor severity, that can be found in the nonclinical population. Some studies suggest that people with schizotypal traits have problems recognising emotional facial expressions. In this research, we further explore this issue and we investigate, for the first time, whether the differential outcomes procedure (DOP) may improve the recognition of emotional facial expressions. Participants in our study were students that completed the ESQUIZO-Q-A and were set in two groups, high schizotypy (HS) and low schizotypy (LS). Then, they performed a task in which they had to recognise the emotional facial expression of a set of faces. Participants of the HS group and the LS group did not differ in their performance. Importantly, all participants showed better recognition of emotional facial expressions when they were trained with differential outcomes. This novel finding might be relevant for clinical practice since the DOP is shown as a tool that may improve the recognition of emotional facial expressions.

Open Access