Observable Social Cognition - A Rating Scale: An interview-based assessment for schizophrenia

Kristin M. Healey, Dennis R. Combs, Clare M. Gibson, Richard S.E. Keefe, David L. Roberts, David L. Penn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


Introduction. Individuals with schizophrenia consistently show impairments in social cognition (SC). SC has become a potential treatment target due to its association with functional outcomes. An alternative method of assessment is to administer an observer-based scale incorporating an informant's "first hand" impressions in ratings. Methods. The present study used the Observable Social Cognition: A Rating Scale (OSCARS) in 62 outpatients and 50 non-psychiatric controls (NPCs) to assess performance in domains of SC (e.g. emotion perception, theory of mind). Results. The OSCARS demonstrated sufficient internal consistency and test-retest reliability. Construct validity was assessed through an exploratory factor analysis. Patient OSCARS indices were not significantly correlated with measures of SC with the exception of aggressive attributional style. Individuals with less impairment in SC reacted more aggressively to ambiguous situations. NPC OSCARS were significantly correlated with measures of theory of mind and attributional style. In a combined sample of patients and controls, six of eight items were significantly correlated with the SC task assessing the same domain, providing modest evidence of convergent validity. In patients, the OSCARS was significantly correlated with measures of functional outcome and neurocognition. Last, the OSCARS was found to be significantly associated with functional outcome after the influence of objective measures of SC was statistically removed. Conclusions. The present study provides preliminary evidence that the OSCARS may be useful for clinicians in collecting data about patients potential real-world SC deficits, in turn increasing the degree to which these impairments may be targeted in treatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)198-221
Number of pages24
JournalCognitive Neuropsychiatry
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 4 2015


  • functional outcome
  • measurement
  • schizophrenia
  • schizophrenia spectrum illness
  • social cognition

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


Dive into the research topics of 'Observable Social Cognition - A Rating Scale: An interview-based assessment for schizophrenia'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this