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Logo of bmcpsycBioMed Centralsearchsubmit a manuscriptregisterthis articleBMC Psychiatry
BMC Psychiatry. 2011; 11: 170.
Published online 2011 October 21. doi:  10.1186/1471-244X-11-170
PMCID: PMC3215649

Assessing cognitive insight in nonpsychiatric individuals and outpatients with schizophrenia in Taiwan: an investigation using the Beck Cognitive Insight Scale



The Beck Cognitive Insight Scale (BCIS) was designed for the assessment of the cognitive processes involved in self-reflection and the ability to modify erroneous beliefs and misinterpretations. Studies investigating the factor structure of the BCIS have indicated a two-factor model in the psychotic population. The factor structure of the BCIS, however, has not received much consideration in the nonpsychiatric population. The present study examined the factor structure and validity of the BCIS and compared its scores between nonpsychiatric individuals and outpatients with psychosis.


The Taiwanese version of the BCIS was administered to 507 nonpsychiatric individuals and 118 outpatients with schizophrenia. The psychometric properties of the BCIS were examined through the following analyses: exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses, reliability, correlation analyses, and discriminative validity.


The BCIS showed adequate internal consistency and stability over time. Exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses on the 15-item measure indicated a two-factor solution that supported the two dimensions of the Taiwanese BCIS, which was also observed with the original BCIS. Following the construct validation, we obtained a composite index (self-reflectiveness minus self-certainty) of the Taiwanese BCIS that reflected cognitive insight. Consistent with previous studies, our results indicated that psychosis is associated with low self-reflectiveness and high self-certainty, which possibly reflect lower cognitive insight. Our results also showed that better cognitive insight is related to worse depression in patients with schizophrenia spectrum disorders, but not in nonpsychiatric individuals. The receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analyses revealed that the area under the curve (AUC) was 0.731. A composite index of 3 was a good limit, with a sensitivity of 87% and a specificity of 51%.


The BCIS proved to be useful for measuring cognitive insight in Taiwanese nonpsychiatric and psychotic populations.

Keywords: cognitive insight, self-reflectiveness, self-certainty, BCIS

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