Defeatist performance beliefs

What are defeatist performance beliefs in schizophrenia?

Defeatist performance beliefs are over-generalised negative thoughts about one’s ability to successfully perform goal-directed behaviour. This prevents the initiation of and engagement in social and employment opportunities and therefore is considered a possible contributing factor to negative symptoms and poor functional outcomes.

Neurocognitive deficits in memory and attention for example may contribute to unsuccessful goal attainment, which over time can give rise to dysfunctional attitudes, including defeatist performance beliefs. These dysfunctional attitudes, in turn, may lead to a decrease in motivation for future goal-related activities, which may contribute to functional outcome deficits. Reduction in goal-directed behaviour reinforces further disengagement with the social world.

What is the evidence for defeatist performance beliefs?

High quality evidence suggests significant but small relationships between increased defeatist performance beliefs and worse negative symptoms and functional outcomes (e.g. general functioning, quality of life, life skills).

March 2022

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Last updated at: 2:05 pm, 15th March 2022
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