Theory of mind and paranoia in schizophrenia: A game theoretical investigation framework

Ka Shing Kevin CHAN, Eric Yu Hai CHEN

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

14 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction. Ample evidence already shows that theory of mind (ToM) is impaired in people with schizophrenia. Our aim was to critically review this literature.
Method. We completed a selected review of the research literature on ToM in schizophrenia.
Results. Gaps in ToM research were identified. A specific relationship between impaired ToM and paranoid delusions, although intuitively reasonable from a theoretical basis, has only been demonstrated in a few studies. Psychometric properties of ToM tasks employed in these studies may be a confounding factor in drawing conclusions about the relationship. Because most ToM measures have focused on the third-person perspective, participants are not actively interacting. The tasks fail to capture the cognitive demands faced by individuals in real-life situations, and, in effect, are not a direct measure of ToM.
Conclusions. Potential research areas are discussed. Since game theoretical paradigms require the direct involvement of the first person and situate the participant's interpersonal reasoning within an interactive context, they provide more ecologically valid experimental platforms than conventional questionnaire measures to assess ToM in schizophrenia research. Copyright © 2011 Psychology Press.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)505-529
JournalCognitive Neuropsychiatry
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2011



Chan, K. K. S., & Chen, E. Y. H. (2011). Theory of mind and paranoia in schizophrenia: A game theoretical investigation framework. Cognitive Neuropsychiatry, 16(6), 505-529. doi: 10.1080/13546805.2011.561576


  • Cooperation
  • Game theory
  • Paranoia
  • Schizophrenia
  • Theory of mind