Negative schizotypal traits predict a reduction in reward motivation in the effort-reward imbalance

Summary: People high in schizotypal traits are more likely to perceive an imbalance between effort and reward. Researchers found an association between effort-reward imbalance and reduced gray matter volume and altered resting-state functional connectivity in individuals with schizotypal traits.

Source: Chinese Academy of Sciences

Effort-Reward Imbalance (ERI) refers to the imbalance between high-effort engagement and low-reward outcome, i.e. when someone perceives that he/she is expending greater effort but receiving disproportionately fewer rewards, which is important for the functioning of daily life is.

Recent results suggest that participants with high levels of schizotypy are more likely to perceive ERI. In addition, there is also a correlation between ERI and gray matter volume reduction and altered resting functional connectivity in participants with a high degree of schizotypy.

However, the underlying relationship between ERI and reward motivation is still fully understood. In particular, it is not clear whether the effects of ERIs on motivation can vary across different subtypes of schizotypal groups.

To fill such a knowledge gap, Dr. Huang Jia and Raymond Chan from the Institute of Psychology, Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) and their collaborators conducted a study to examine how the E/R ratio is related to reward motivation and whether the relationship between ERI and reward motivation can are moderated differently by the schizotypal subtypes.

Recent results suggest that participants with high levels of schizotypy are more likely to perceive ERI. The image is in the public domain

They recruited 843 college students to complete a series of online checklists that specifically assessed schizotypal personality traits, ERI, and motivation. They then performed multiple linear regressions to construct models to examine the moderating effects of schizotypal traits on the relationship between ERI and reward motivation.

According to the researchers, a stressful ERI situation predicted reductions in reward motivation. However, schizotypal subtypes showed different predictive and moderating effects. In particular, negative schizotypal traits showed a significant negative moderating effect on the relationship between ERI and reward motivation, while positive and disorganized schizotypal traits had significant positive moderating effects.

Taken together, these results suggest that subtypes of schizotypal traits differentially moderate the relationship between ERI and reward motivation and highlight the importance of developing specific intervention strategies to improve reward motivation and goal-directed behavior in subclinical populations.

About this news from psychology research

Author: Zhang Nanan
Source: Chinese Academy of Sciences
Contact: Zhang Nannan – Chinese Academy of Sciences
Picture: The image is in the public domain

Original research: Closed access.
“Negative schizotypal traits predict reduction in reward motivation in effort–reward imbalance” by Yong-jie Yan et al. European Archives of Psychiatry and Clinical Neuroscience


abstract

Negative schizotypal traits predict reduction in reward motivation in effort-reward imbalance

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The schizotypy construct is useful to study the effects of environmental stress on the development of subclinical negative symptoms. The relationship between self-report motivation, effort-reward imbalance (ERI), and schizotypal traits has rarely been studied.

Our aim was to investigate the possible moderating effect of schizotypal traits on ERI and reward motivation.

843 college students were recruited online to complete a set of self-reported measures assessing schizotypal traits, effort-reward imbalance, and reward motivation, namely the Schizotypal Personality Questionnaire (SPQ), Effort-Reward Imbalance. School Version Questionnaire (C-ERI-S) and Motivation and Joy Scale Self-Report (MAP-SR).

We performed multiple linear regression to construct models to examine the moderating effects of schizotypal traits on the relationship between ERI and reward motivation. A stressful ERI situation predicted the reduction in reward motivation.

Negative schizotypal traits showed a significant negative moderating effect on the relationship between ERI and reward motivation, while positive and disorganized schizotypal traits had significant positive moderating effects. Subtypes of schizotypal traits differentially moderate the relationship between ERI and reward motivation.

Only negative schizotypal traits and a stressful ERI situation together have a negative impact on reward motivation.

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