What can Schizophrenia teaches us about emotions?

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


The chapter argues that the contradiction of emotional experiences identified in schizophrenic patients is a part of everyone’s emotional life. Building on Ratcliffe's idea of thinking of schizophrenia in relational terms and taking up the claim that the minimal self reflects a fundamental orientation to the world and the social world, the chapter looks into schizophrenic emotional life as a way to offer insights about emotions. The visibility of contradiction seen in schizophrenia patients brings to the surface some aspects of the complexity of emotional life, and reveals some of the processing of emotional experiences. Consequently, taking the contradiction of emotional experience in schizophrenia as familiar instead of strange, shows that emotional life entails experiences in which we can find inconsistencies between first order emotions, moods and the emotional episode, as well as experiences of conflict between first order emotions and meta-emotions. The chapter concludes by indicating that accepting the similarity of processing of layers of emotions and the recognition that the outcomes are different raises further issues for research questions to better understand schizophrenia.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSchizophrenia and Common Sense
Subtitle of host publicationExplaining the Relation Between Madness and Social Values
EditorsInês Hipólito, Jorge Gonçalves, João G. Pereira
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-319-73993-9
ISBN (Print)978-3-030-08897-2, 978-3-319-73992-2
Publication statusPublished - 2018

Publication series

NameStudies in Brain and Mind


  • Emotional Flatness
  • First-order Emotion
  • Intense Emotional Experiences
  • Minimal Self
  • Schizophrenia


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