Acute schizophrenics were compared with depressed, normal and brain-damaged subjects on their ability to appreciate a meaningful picture. Their responses were measured for level of abstraction (how well the theme was conveyed), for strategy (whether details were reported before or after a global interpretation) and for appropriateness of content. Schizophrenics were less abstract than normals, more abstract than brain-damaged subjects, but no different from depressives on this measure. Their strategy was different from normals but comparable with that of depressives. The majority of schizophrenics gave inappropriate responses. It is suggested that meaningful picture interpretation might be a useful tool for evaluating the distortion of meaning which characterizes schizophrenia.
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