Individual differences in negative priming: Relations with schizotypal personality traits


Department of Experimental Psychology, University of Oxford, South Parks Road, Oxford OX1 3UD, UK


A study is reported of normal subjects, selected for degree of schizotypal personality traits, on a cognitive task designed to measure, in a negative priming paradigm, the extent to which they differed in interference and presumed inhibitory effects on performance. The main individual differences measure used - a new scale of schizotypy - showed, as predicted, a significant correlation with negative priming. The correlation with a measure of ‘interference’ was non-significant but in the expected direction. The results are judged relevant to research implicating a weakening of inhibitory selective mechanisms in schizophrenia and to models in abnormal psychology proposing a continuum between normal and abnormal cognitive function. As such, they suggest a soundly based theoretical approach to the analysis of the individual variations in information processing commonly observed in general cognitive psychology.