Skip to main content Accessibility help

The Symptoms of Chronic Schizophrenia

A Re-examination of the Positive-Negative Dichotomy

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  02 January 2018

Peter F. Liddle
Charing Cross and Westminster Medical School, and Academic Unit, Horton Hospital, Long Grove Road, Epsom, Surrey KT19 8PZ


The relationships between symptoms in 40 schizophrenic patients, selected for persistence of symptoms, were examined. The symptoms segregated into three syndromes: psychomotor poverty (poverty of speech, lack of spontaneous movement and various aspects of blunting of affect): disorganisation (inappropriate affect, poverty of content of speech, and disturbances of the form of thought): and reality distortion (particular types of delusions and hallucinations). Both the psychomotor poverty and disorganisation syndromes were associated with social and occupational impairment; in particular, the psychomotor poverty syndrome was associated with impairment of personal relationships, and the disorganisation syndrome with poor self-care and impersistence at work.

Copyright © Royal College of Psychiatrists, 1987 

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below.


American Psychiatric Association (1980) Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (3rd ed.)(DSM-III). Washington DC: APA.Google ScholarPubMed
Andreasen, N. C. (1982) Negative symptoms in schizophrenia; definition and reliability. Archives of General Psychiatry, 39, 784788.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Andreasen, N. C. (1983) Comprehensive Assessment of Symptoms and History (CASH). Iowa City: The University of Iowa College of Medicine.Google Scholar
Andreasen, N. C. & Olsen, S. (1982) Negative v. positive schizophrenia: definition and validation. Archives of General Psychiatry, 39, 789794.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Bleuler, E. (1911) Dementia Praecox or the Group of Schizophrenias (trans. 1950 by Zinklin, J. New York: International Universities Press).Google ScholarPubMed
Crow, T. J. (1980a) Molecular pathology of schizophrenia: more than one disease process? British Medical Journal, 280, 19.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Crow, T. J. (1980b) Positive and negative schizophrenic symptoms and the role of dopamine. British Journal of Psychiatry, 137, 383386.Google ScholarPubMed
Davis, J. M. (1976) Comparative doses and costs of antipsychotic medication. Archives of General Psychiatry, 33, 858861.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Harrow, M., Silverstein, M. & Marengo, J. (1983) Disordered thinking: does it identify nuclear schizophrenia? Archives of General Psychiatry, 40, 765771.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Huber, G. (1957) Pneumoencephalographische und Psychopathologische Bilder bei Endogen Psychosen. Berlin: Springer-Verlag.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Huber, G., Gross, G. & Schuttler, R. (1975) A long term follow-up of schizophrenia: psychiatric course of illness and prognosis. Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica, 52, 4957.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Johnstone, E. C., Crow, T. J., Frith, C. R., Stevens, M., Kreel, L. & Husband, J. (1978) The dementia of dementia praecox. Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica, 57, 305324.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Lewine, R. R. J., Fogg, L. & Meltzer, H. Y. (1983) Assessment of negative and positive symptoms in schizophrenia. Schizophrenia Bulletin, 9, 368376.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Nie, N. H., Hull, N. C., Jenkins, J. G., Steinbrenner, K. & Bent, D. H. (1975) Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (2nd ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill.Google Scholar
Pogue-Geile, M. F. & Harrow, M. (1984) Negative and positive symptoms in schizophrenia and depression: a follow-up. Schizophrenia Bulletin, 10, 331387.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Wing, J. K. (1961) A simple and reliable sub-classification of chronic schizophrenia. Journal Mental Science, 107, 862875.Google Scholar
Wing, J. K. (1978) Schizophrenia: Towards a New Synthesis. London: Academic Press.Google Scholar
Wing, J. K. & Brown, G. W. (1970) Institutionalization and Schizophrenia. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Wing, J. K., Cooper, J. E. & Sartorius, N. (1974) The measurement and classification of psychiatric symptoms. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
Venables, P. H. (1957) A short scale for rating “activity-withdrawal” in schizophrenics. Journal of Mental Science, 103, 197199.Google Scholar
Wing, J. K. & Wing, J. K. (1962) Level of arousal and subclassification of schizophrenia. Archives of General Psychiatry, 7, 114119.Google Scholar
Submit a response


No eLetters have been published for this article.

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Full text views reflects PDF downloads, PDFs sent to Google Drive, Dropbox and Kindle and HTML full text views.

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 608 *
View data table for this chart

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between 02nd January 2018 - 2nd December 2020. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Hostname: page-component-79f79cbf67-cqrxk Total loading time: 0.509 Render date: 2020-12-02T03:46:58.418Z Query parameters: { "hasAccess": "0", "openAccess": "0", "isLogged": "0", "lang": "en" } Feature Flags last update: Wed Dec 02 2020 03:05:18 GMT+0000 (Coordinated Universal Time) Feature Flags: { "metrics": true, "metricsAbstractViews": false, "peerReview": true, "crossMark": true, "comments": true, "relatedCommentaries": true, "subject": true, "clr": false, "languageSwitch": true }

Send article to Kindle

To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

Note you can select to send to either the or variations. ‘’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

The Symptoms of Chronic Schizophrenia
Available formats

Send article to Dropbox

To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

The Symptoms of Chronic Schizophrenia
Available formats

Send article to Google Drive

To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

The Symptoms of Chronic Schizophrenia
Available formats

Reply to: Submit a response

Your details

Conflicting interests

Do you have any conflicting interests? *