Aspects of cognitive activity in schizophrenia
SYNOPSIS The application of Piaget's genetic psychology tests to schizophrenic patients yielded the following findings. The intelligence quotient of schizophrenics, although within the normal range, is slightly lower than that of a control population of similar age. This is due not to a loss of the operations of the intellect, but to a difficulty experienced by the patients in actualizing the operations. The difficulty is seen particularly in operations dealing with specific objects which
... objects which require a constant maintenance of the equilibrium between assimilation and accommodation. The thought processes of hebephrenic patients oscillate between excessive assimilation, resulting in a distortion of observable data, and excessive accommodation which by adhering to the observable data distorts the reasoning process. The thought processes of paranoid schizophrenics are dominated by excessive assimilation. This predominance explains their tendency to distort observable data and their difficulty in the generalization of reasoning; it also has an impact on the assimilation/accommodation equilibrium of their logical operations, leading to (a) difficulties in delimiting reflecting abstractions, and therefore the comprehension and extension of concepts, and (b) loss of proof based on logico-mathematical reasoning and, as a result, a propensity to resort to magical thinking and subjective explanations.