The symptoms of schizophrenia are described in three broad domains: (1) positive (hallucinations, delusions), (2) disorganization (disorganized thinking and behaving), and (3) negative. Negative symptoms are called “negative” because they involve absences of or deficits in something that is present in healthy individuals. Negative symptoms involve deficits in emotion expression and experience, motivation, social relationships, and communication. This entry focuses on the definitions, assessment, and treatment of negative symptoms.

Defining and Assessing Negative Symptoms


In 2006, the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) convened a meeting of experts in the field of schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders and published a consensus statement on negative symptoms. The consensus statement lists five negative symptoms: (1) asociality, (2) avolition, (3) anhedonia, (4) blunted affect, and (5) alogia.


Asociality refers to ...

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