Difference in perception of enjoyment of schizophrenia patients between interacting with live research assistant or electronic devices

MovisensXS will provide a practical way of collecting data from a clinical population (using audio recording) without requiring participants to complete a lengthy open-ended survey open-ended response.

Kathryn Cooper

At a Glance

  • Location: San Francisco, USA
  • Date: 12.06.2013
  • Institution: San Francisco State University
    Department of Psychology
  • Web Page: http://online.sfsu.edu/dgard/


  • Context: -
  • Number of participants: 25 schizophrenia patients, 25 healthy controls
  • Number of days per participants: 7
  • Number of prompst per Day: 4
  • Number of Items: 30


Schizophrenia patients have long shown deficits in motivation, and it was previously shown that these deficits appear to be related to problems anticipating things that will be enjoyable to them (i.e., deficits in wanting) but show no problems with the actual enjoyment of experiences (i.e., liking).

In our most recent ecological momentary assessment (EMA) project however, patients showed on average, higher enjoyment in both anticipatory and consummatory enjoyment of their goals. We believe this is due to the fact that we used live research assistant to call participants, resulting in increased social desirable responding in our patient group. This new method of sampling will help us test this hypothesis by allowing us to ask the same EMA questions without the use of a live person.

Sample questions in the previous study and the current study include asking participants about their current mood and emotions, who they are currently with, what they are currently doing, their enjoyment of their activities, what goals they have over the next few hours, and how much they thought they would like or dislike those goals
We are interested in replicating this study, though removing the interaction between subject and research assistant.

The new study would sample schizophrenia patients and healthy controls at random intervals for four times a day for one week, answer Likert-scale questions via the cell phone app, and then respond to prompts by audio recording their responses to opened ended questions (e.g., ‘what are you doing?’). The open-ended responses will help us confirm other findings from our previous study (for example, people with schizophrenia engaged in less effortful activities than controls).

Hypothesis #1:

Socially desirable responses will not occur when asking questions from the cell phone app: When questions are prompted by an electronic device and not through a live person, we expect to see the lower levels of anticipated enjoyment of goals, but similar levels of activity enjoyment compared to controls.

Hypothesis #2:

People with schizophrenia will engage in fewer effortful activities than healthy controls.

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