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The neuropsychological correlates of cognitive insight in healthy participants



Cognitive insight is the ability to monitor and correct one's own erroneous convictions. The Beck Cognitive Insight Scale (BCIS) assesses two sub-dimensions of cognitive insight: self-reflectiveness (SR), which is the attitude of questioning one's own judgments; and self-certainty (SC), which is the unwillingness to modify and correct one's own convictions. There is little information about cognitive insight in healthy participants (HP). Here we investigated the socio-demographic and neuropsychological correlates of cognitive insight in 50 HP who were administered the BCIS and a comprehensive neuropsychological battery. The global BCIS R-C index correlated positively with age and WCST perseverative errors. SR correlated positively with age. These data support the hypothesis that a less self-reflective and more self-confident style is cognitively functional in HP. Thus, what has been found malfunctioning in mental illnesses is adaptive in HP. Future studies should consider a wider range of factors that might affect this complex construct. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.