Comparing the factor structure of the Wisconsin schizotypy scales and the schizotypal personality questionnaire

Georgina M. Gross, Juliann Mellin, Paul J. Silvia, Neus Barrantes-Vidal, Thomas R. Kwapil

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Schizotypy is a multidimensional construct that captures the expression of schizophrenic symptoms and impairment from subclinical levels to full-blown psychosis. The present study examined the comparability of the factor structure of 2 leading psychometric measures of schizotypy: the Wisconsin Schizotypy Scales (WSS) and the Schizotypal Personality Questionnaire (SPQ). Both the SPQ and WSS purportedly capture the multidimensional structure of schizotypy; however, whether they are measuring comparable factors has not been empirically demonstrated. This study provided support for a 2-factor model with positive and negative factors underlying the WSS; however, contrary to previous findings, the best fit for the SPQ was for a 4-factor model using confirmatory factor analysis, and a 2-factor model using exploratory factor analysis. The WSS factors were relatively distinct, whereas those underlying the SPQ showed high overlap. The WSS positive and SPQ cognitive-perceptual factors appeared to tap comparable constructs. However, the WSS negative and SPQ interpersonal factors appeared to tap somewhat different constructs based on their correlation and their patterns of associations with other schizotypy dimensions and the Five-Factor Model-suggesting that the SPQ interpersonal factor may not adequately tap negative or deficit schizotypy. Although the SPQ offers the advantage over the WSS of having a disorganization factor, it is not clear that this SPQ factor is actually distinct from positive schizotypy. Existing measures should be used with caution and new measures based on a priori theories are necessary to further understand the factor structure of schizotypy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)397-405
Number of pages9
JournalPersonality Disorders: Theory, Research, and Treatment
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Factor structure
  • Negative schizotypy
  • Positive schizotypy
  • Schizophrenia
  • Schizotypal personality disorder

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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