Methods and models for investigating anomalous experiences in schizophrenia spectrum disorders


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The self-disorder model provides a phenomenological framework for understanding how the core symptoms of Schizophrenia Spectrum Disorders (SSDs) are rooted in an instability of minimal selfhood. This instability involves a range of "anomalous experiences": transformations in an individual's perceptual field and sense of being an agent of action. The explanatory value of this theoretical model can be summarized in two claims about the role of anomalous experiences in self-disorders: (1) anomalous experiences express a common trait-like disturbance that is characteristic of SSDs, and (2) anomalous experiences contribute to explanations regarding how self-disorders progress into SSDs. While hypotheses consistent with the first claim have been substantiated in several studies, hypotheses consistent with the second claim remain underexamined. We argue that attending to this gap in the literature requires considering which methodological strategies are best suited for investigating if and how anomalous experiences contribute to the development of self-disorders into SSDs and psychotic states. Network modeling is discussed as one such strategy suitable for examining the role of anomalies of lived-world in the maintenance of paranoid delusions in SSDs.
Self-disorders,phenomenology,network models,schizophrenia,psychosis,phenomenological psychopathology
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