A Cross-Cultural Comparison of Schizotypy and Social Trait Judgments
Rapid and accurate judgments of social traits from faces are indispensable to successful interpersonal interactions. Anomalous trait judgment has been observed in the schizophrenia spectrum and may lead to delusion formation and reduced social functioning. Furthermore, individual differences in social trait judgments are likely to be influenced by culture and gender. The current study investigated the role of culture and schizotypal personality traits on rapid trait judgments from faces in age-matched college student samples from China and the US using a trait judgment task and a battery of self-report questionnaires. We found no relationship between schizotypy and trait judgments. However, positive schizotypy, disorganized schizotypy, cognitive empathy, and affective empathy were higher in Chinese students than in American students. We also found lower level of consummatory interpersonal pleasure among Chinese students. These findings indicated that individuals from Chinese and North American cultures differ in their tendency to make mental inferences during social interactions, as well as in how much they enjoy social interactions. These differences potentially pointed to the relative cultural specificity of the schizotypal personality construct, as well as the need for culturally specific symptom measures and diagnostic criteria.