Honors Projects

Abstract

The use of artwork created by schizophrenic individuals is unique in its contextual elements, including bizarre imagery, strong border lines, and desexualized features. The uniqueness of schizophrenic art lends itself to the possibility of being identified as such, therefore, opening the possibility for it to be used as a diagnostic tool in the clinical setting. Presently, schizophrenic art is used in art therapy, but is not widely employed in diagnostic practices. The current study aimed to test the possible identification of schizophrenic art in contrast to normal art and no art. Three questionnaires were created and randomly distributed to participants. The questionnaires included verbal descriptions of dissociative identity disorder, schizophrenia, and anti-social personality disorder. The participants were asked to identify schizophrenia when being told that the picture may or may not be helpful in their selection. After sampling 126 undergraduate students in an Introduction to Psychology course, the data was analyzed through a 2x3 and a 2x2 chi-square analysis. It was found that the presence of schizophrenic art significantly enhanced a verbal description of the disorder, thus, supporting the main hypothesis. Prior knowledge was also considered in the results; while the result was still significant, prior knowledge could not be ruled out as a predictor of correct identification. This research is a preliminary step into determining the diagnostic validity of schizophrenic art when identifying the disorder in individuals.

Publication Date

Fall 12-5-2014