Metacognition deficits as a risk factor for prospective motivation deficits in schizophrenia spectrum disorders

Lauren Luther, Ruth L. Firmin, Kyle S. Minor, Jenifer L. Vohs, Benjamin Buck, Kelly D. Buck, Paul H. Lysaker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

16 Scopus citations


Although motivation deficits are key determinants of functional outcomes, little is known about factors that contribute to prospective motivation in people with schizophrenia. One candidate factor is metacognition, or the ability to form complex representations about oneself, others, and the world. This study aimed to assess whether metacognition deficits were a significant predictor of reduced prospective motivation, after controlling for the effects of baseline motivation, anticipatory pleasure, and antipsychotic medication dose. Fifty-one participants with a schizophrenia spectrum disorder completed measures of metacognition and anticipatory pleasure at baseline; participants also completed a measure of motivation at baseline and six months after the initial assessment. Baseline antipsychotic dose was obtained from medical charts. Hierarchical regression analysis revealed that lower levels of baseline metacognition significantly predicted reduced levels of motivation assessed six months later, after controlling for baseline levels of motivation, anticipatory pleasure, and antipsychotic dose. Higher baseline antipsychotic dose was also a significant predictor of reduced six month motivation. Results suggest that metacognition deficits and higher antipsychotic dose may be risk factors for the development of motivation deficits in schizophrenia. Implications include utilizing interventions to improve metacognition in conjunction with evaluating and possibly lowering antipsychotic dose for people struggling with motivation deficits.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)172-178
Number of pages7
JournalPsychiatry Research
StatePublished - Nov 30 2016



  • Anticipatory pleasure
  • Antipsychotic medication
  • Metacognition
  • Motivation
  • Schizophrenia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry

Cite this