Aberrant salience predicts psychotic-like experiences in daily life: An experience sampling study

Charlotte Chun, Georgina Gross, Alyssa Mielock, Thomas Kwapil

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Individuals at risk for schizophrenia-spectrum disorders tend to make atypical attributions of significance to unimportant stimuli. This experience of heightened significance, known as aberrant salience, is thought to contribute to psychotic symptoms. The Aberrant Salience Inventory (ASI) was designed to capture subclinical and clinical manifestations of the construct, and scores on the scale are associated with schizophrenia-like symptoms and behaviors in laboratory studies. Experience sampling methodology (ESM) studies have assessed momentary experiences of aberrant salience in daily life, but to our knowledge no study has examined real-world outcomes using the ASI as a trait measure of aberrant salience. The current study assessed the expression of aberrant salience in undergraduates oversampled for positive and negative schizotypy using ESM. Overall, findings of the expression of aberrant salience in daily life were similar to previous findings with positive schizotypy. Aberrant salience was associated with psychotic-like and disorganized symptoms, suspiciousness, and social impairment in daily life. It was unassociated with negative symptoms, stress, or affect in the moment. Aberrant salience did not moderate daily life associations of stress with schizotypic symptoms. The ASI subscales showed differential patterns of associations in daily life. These findings support the construct validity of the ASI and suggest that aberrant salience traits are relevant for real-world outcomes in schizotypy-spectrum psychopathology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)218-224
Number of pages7
JournalSchizophrenia Research
StatePublished - Jun 2020


  • Aberrant salience
  • Ambulatory assessment
  • Experience sampling
  • Psychotic-like experiences
  • Schizotypy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry


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