Social Cognition and Aggression in Forensic Psychiatric Patients
Battaglia, Anthony Michael
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While there is an established link between untreated psychosis and aggression, the role of social cognition has been relatively neglected. This study examined various aspects of social cognitive functioning among forensic patients deemed not criminally responsible for acts of violence due to a psychotic disorder. The study sample25 forensic patients (10 recently aggressive and 15 not-recently aggressive) and 20 healthy controlscompleted the Reading the Mind in the Eyes Task-Revised (RMET), Toronto Empathy Questionnaire (TEQ), and Interpersonal Perception Task-15 (IPT-15). There were no significant differences on the RMET and TEQ based on violent index offence and recent aggressive behaviour. However, a pattern of misperceptions about interpersonal scenarios was identified utilizing the IPT-15 measure. Implications are discussed for a better clinical understanding of cues that might provoke and possibly escalate situational violence in individuals diagnosed with psychosis, as well as the potential for future research employing virtual reality technologies.