Reasoning ability

What is reasoning ability?

Reasoning refers to the ability to logically gather information to form conclusions and solve problems. People with schizophrenia may show impaired reasoning, with bias in the way they gather information, interpret events and develop beliefs. Reasoning bias is measured in three ways: “jumping to conclusions” (JTC) is when a decision is made after little information is gathered; belief inflexibility is an inability to change a belief even when presented with contradictory evidence; and attribution bias is when available evidence is incorrectly used to attribute negative or positive events to internal or external causes.

What is the evidence for reasoning ability?

High quality evidence shows a small association between poor reasoning ability and severity of negative symptoms. Moderate quality evidence also suggests an association with severity of disorganised symptoms and, to a lesser extent, severity of reality distortion symptoms. High quality evidence shows a medium-sized association between better social problem solving and social skills and better reasoning ability. Greater community functioning and better social behaviour show a weaker association with better reasoning ability. Moderate quality evidence suggests medium to strong associations between poor reasoning ability and problem solving, and poor verbal learning, processing speed, working memory, attention and vigilance, and verbal fluency. There are weaker associations with poor emotion perception, social perception, facial recognition and emotion processing.

Moderate to high quality evidence suggests no difference in reasoning and problem solving ability in people with schizophrenia taking second generation antipsychotics compared to those taking first generation antipsychotics. Moderate quality evidence suggests better problem solving and reasoning ability is found in people with schizophrenia with a cannabis use disorder compared to people with schizophrenia without any substance use disorder.

March 2019

Last updated at: 6:33 am, 12th March 2019
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