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Tue Apr 17, 2012, 09:27 PM

Schizotypal personality and Religious nuttiness.

I have been musing for a while that a lot of people who are into "Charismatic" Christian denominations or New Age craziness have some degree of Schizotypy. They do not have the full-blown psychotism and break from reality of Schizophrenia, but still have bizarre perceptions of "paranormal" things and visions of a Jungian Archetypal nature. Among the Christian nuts one can also see this in their obsession with the Book of Revelation.

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Reply Schizotypal personality and Religious nuttiness. (Original post)
Odin2005 Apr 2012 OP
cbayer Apr 2012 #1
Odin2005 Apr 2012 #2
tama Apr 2012 #3
cbayer Apr 2012 #5
Odin2005 Apr 2012 #6
LeftishBrit Apr 2012 #4
hyphenate Apr 2012 #7

Response to Odin2005 (Original post)

Tue Apr 17, 2012, 09:38 PM

1. I think that's a leap and pretty broad brush, Odin.

Particularly since the people I believe you are ascribing this to tend to be involved in highly socialized groups, which would be atypical for this type of personality disorder.

I think saying that would be equivalent to saying that atheist nuttiness is associated with Narcissistic Personality Disorder. While you could probably bend some of the criteria to make the case, I doubt that it's true.

Anyway, I generally object to making psychiatric diagnoses for whole groups, particularly when it comes to personality disorders. And I particularly object to using it as a weapon or offensive tactic.

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Response to cbayer (Reply #1)

Tue Apr 17, 2012, 09:59 PM

2. I was refering to Schizotypy as a personality trait, not Schizotypal PD itself.

According to the book I'm reading, The Imprinted Brain, Schizotypy and Autistic traits form opposite ends with normality in the middle, with Schizotypy the result of having an overly strong social brain, what the author calls "Mentalism".

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Response to Odin2005 (Reply #2)

Wed Apr 18, 2012, 04:02 AM

3. I don't know much

 

about autistic traits, but I'm under the impression that they are often linked with stronger than averadge emotional sensitivity which manifests often as pain - in various forms - and this leads to pain avoiding mechanisms such as narrowed focus, social avoidance, etc. Can't say this is much more than tentative hypothesis, but how does it resonate with your experiences and theoretical understanding?

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Response to Odin2005 (Reply #2)

Wed Apr 18, 2012, 10:52 AM

5. Sorry. Since it's not a disorder, just a decryption of some personality traits, I was unfamiliar

with it.

Not a huge fan of this type of psychology, so I will back away here.

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Response to cbayer (Reply #5)

Wed Apr 18, 2012, 01:33 PM

6. No problem, it was just an idea that popped into my head...

...from reading the book I mentioned.

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Response to cbayer (Reply #1)

Wed Apr 18, 2012, 04:23 AM

4. 'Schizotypy' as a trait is not a disorder

It is a trait proposed and studied by Gordon Claridge and colleagues, and is a spectrum along which people may vary. The current questionnaire for assessing this is the Oxford-Liverpool Inventory of Feelings and Experiences (O-LIFE), developed by Gordon Claridge and Oliver Mason. It includes four dimensions which correlate on average but don't always go together: Unusual Experiences (perceptions and beliefs that differ from the usual, e.g. sudden changes in objects' appearances; belief in telepathy; etc.); Introvertive Anhedonia (not gaining pleasure from social or sensory experiences that most people enjoy); Cognitive Disorganization (lack of focused attention); and Impulsive Nonconformity (acting or speaking on impulse, in ways that may violate social norms).

People who are high in schizotypy have a statistically increased risk of schizophrenia - hence the term; but most people who are high in schizotypy do not develop schizophrenia. On the other hand, high schizotypy also seems to be associated with creativity. This may explain why several studies have found a higher incidence of mental illness in close relatives of highly creative achievers, and high creativity in close relatives of people with schizophrenia - there may be a genetic association between the two, and it may be reflected in this personality trait.

It seems quite likely that the Unusual Experiences dimension in particular could be related to certain forms of religious and other mystical experiences.

This is not the same as saying that religious people are schizophrenic or have a personality disorder.

As regards atheism, there has in fact been research that suggests that people on the autistic spectrum are more likely to be atheists - though this may reflect relative lack of susceptibility to group influences, and would need to be tested in societies where most people are atheists.

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