The effects of distraction on the vigilance performance of paranoid and nonparanoid schizophrenics
Parkison, Steven C.
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The purpose of this research was to examine and evaluate two theories related to attentional deficits in persons with schizophrenia. While attentional deficits in schizophrenics have been investigated for some twenty years, the present study was an attempt to investigate and elucidate the contradictions between the theory of Silverman (1964a) and that of Broadbent (1958) concerning attention. Both theories appear to have considerable research support, but they differ diametrically on the concept of distraetibility in subtypes of schizophrenia. The investigation attempted to assess the concept of distraetibility as one manifestation of attentional defificts among paranoid and nonparanoid schizophrenics while considering the conceptualization of the two theories on this point. The purpose of such an examination was to resolve the apparent conflict between the two theories and secondarily, to add to the understanding of individuals currently considered to be schizophrenic. In the first chapter the areas of major conflict between the theories are developed and research hypotheses delineated. The initial section of this chapter describes both theories and the research support of each. Following sections summarize the position of each theory on the concept of distraetibility and provide a statement of the general research question. The visual vigilance task and its relevance to the study of attentional deficits among schizophrenics is presented in the next section. Finally, the hypotheses are presented which merge the theoretical and empirical directions that were investigated.