Schizophrenia is a mental disorder with five categories of symptoms (for a review see van Os & Kapur, 2009):

  1. Psychosis (including hallicunations and delusions)

  2. Changes in drive and motivation

  3. Cognitive changes (e.g., memory difficulties)

  4. Depressive symptoms

  5. Manic symptoms

People with schizophrenia may suffer from "hearing voices" (which are not really there). People might think others try to control their thoughts.
Schizophrenia is diagnosed in 0.3 to 0.66% of the population (i.e., lifetime prevalence). It is typically diagnosed in the late teens or early adulthood and occurs more frequently in men than women.

Important for the O-LIFE scale is that various researchers have proposed that these symptoms occur in the normal/healthy population as well. The occurance of such symptoms is known as schizotypy, and the O-LIFE questionnaire measures such symptoms. The idea is that everybody can have some of these symptoms without having a mental disorder.

Nevertheless, psychological research shows that there are relations between schizotypy scores in the normal population and certain psychological problems, such as face recognition (Hills, Eaton, Pake, 2016).

There is a shorter yet reliable version of the O-LIFE questionnaire with 43 yes/no questions which is presented below.

Details about the short O-LIFE scales

The short O-LIFE has 4 subscales.

The descriptions of the 4 scales below are literally copied from the Mason paper (2005), p.295.
  1. Unusual Experiences — describing perceptual aberrations, magical thinking, and hallucinations. It is phenomenologically related to the positive symptoms of psychosis, and measures a trait often termed positive schizotypy.

  2. Cognitive Disorganisation — items that tap aspects of poor attention and concentration, as well as poor decision-making and social anxiety. It can be seen to reflect thought disorder and other disorganised aspects of psychosis.

  3. Introvertive Anhedonia — items that describe a lack of enjoyment from social and physical sources of pleasure, as well as avoidance of intimacy. It can be seen to reflect weakened forms of negative symptoms, so-called negative schizotypy, or alternatively the schizoid temperament.

  4. Impulsive Nonconformity — items describing impulsive, anti-social, and eccentric forms of behaviour, often suggesting a lack of self-control.

The table below shows the scale and the average scores for men and women in a test with hundreds of volunteer twins (average age 47). The table below is based on the paper by Mason and colleagues (2005), page 295, Table 2.

Subscale Possible score range Men Women

Unusual Experiences

0-12 points



Cognitive Disorganisation

0-11 points



Introvertive Anhedonia

0-10 points



Impulsive Nonconformity

0-10 points



Run the demo

It seems that the short O-LIFE can be used for research, but you need to acknowledge the authors and their research paper when writing about it (References).

Can I ask PsyToolkit about permission to use the O-LIFE? Answer here in the PsyToolkit Frequently Asked Questions.


This is a simple scale question with some reverse coded items. Note that each item is simply a yes/no question.

The survey code for PsyToolkit

Copy and paste this code to your PsyToolkit account if you want to use the scale in your own online research project
scale: yesno
- {score=1} yes
- {score=0} no

l: unusual_experiences
t: scale yesno
q: For each statement, say whether it applies to you or not.
- When in the dark do you often see shapes and forms even though there is nothing there?
- Are your thoughts sometimes so strong that you can almost hear them?
- Have you ever thought that you had special, almost magical powers?
- Have you sometimes sensed an evil presence around you, even though you could not see it?
- Do you think that you could learn to read other’s minds if you wanted to?
- When you look in the mirror does your face sometimes seem quite different from usual?
- Do ideas and insights sometimes come to you so fast that you cannot express them all?
- Can some people make you aware of them just by thinking about you?
- Does a passing thought ever seem so real it frightens you?
- Do you feel that your accidents are caused by mysterious forces?
- Do you ever have a sense of vague danger or sudden dread for reasons that you do not understand?
- Does your sense of smell sometimes become unusually strong?

l: cognitive_disorganisation
t: scale yesno
q: For each statement, say whether it applies to you or not.
- Are you easily confused if too much happens at the same time?
- Do you frequently have difficulty in starting to do things?
- Are you a person whose mood goes up and down easily?
- Do you dread going into a room by yourself where other people have already gathered and are talking?
- Do you find it difficult to keep interested in the same thing for a long time?
- Do you often have difficulties in controlling your thoughts?
- Are you easily distracted from work by daydreams?
- Do you ever feel that your speech is difficult to understand because the words are all mixed up and don’t make sense?
- Are you easily distracted when you read or talk to someone?
- Is it hard for you to make decisions?
- When in a crowded room, do you often have difficulty in following a conversation?

l: introvertive_anhedonia
t: scale yesno
q: For each statement, say whether it applies to you or not.
- Are there very few things that you have ever enjoyed doing?
- Are you much too independent to get involved with other people?
- {reverse} Do you love having your back massaged?
- {reverse} Do you find the bright lights of a city exciting to look at?
- {reverse} Do you feel very close to your friends?
- Has dancing or the idea of it always seemed dull to you?
- {reverse} Do you like mixing with people?
- {reverse} Is trying new foods something you have always enjoyed?
- Have you often felt uncomfortable when your friends touch you?
- Do you prefer watching television to going out with people?

l: impulsive_nonconformity
t: scale yesno
q: For each statement, say whether it applies to you or not.
- {reverse} Do you consider yourself to be pretty much an average sort of person?
- Would you like other people to be afraid of you?
- Do you often feel the impulse to spend money which you know you can’t afford?
- {reverse} Are you usually in an average kind of mood, not too high and not too low?
- Do you at times have an urge to do something harmful or shocking?
- {reverse} Do you stop to think things over before doing anything?
- Do you often overindulge in alcohol or food?
- Do you ever have the urge to break or smash things?
- Have you ever felt the urge to injure yourself?
- Do you often feel like doing the opposite of what other people suggest even though you know they are right?

l: score_unusual_experiences
t: set
- sum $unusual_experiences

l: score_cognitive_disorganisation
t: set
- sum $cognitive_disorganisation

l: score_introvertive_anhedonia
t: set
- sum $introvertive_anhedonia

l: score_impulsive_nonconformity
t: set
- sum $impulsive_nonconformity

l: feedback
t: info
q: Your scores on the 4 short O-LIFE scales are as follows:<br><br>
<tr><th>Subscale</th><th>Possible score range</th><th>Your score</th></tr>
<tr><td>unusual_experiences</td><td>0 to 12 points</td><td>{$score_unusual_experiences}</td></tr>
<tr><td>cognitive_disorganisation</td><td>0 to 11 points</td><td>{$score_cognitive_disorganisation}</td></tr>
<tr><td>introvertive_anhedonia</td><td>0 to 10 points</td><td>{$score_introvertive_anhedonia}</td></tr>
<tr><td>impulsive_nonconformity</td><td>0 to 10 points</td><td>{$score_impulsive_nonconformity}</td></tr>
<b>Write down these results or print out the table for your record</b>
Please read the details about this test on the PsyToolkit website (link follows when pressing button below).


The test itself

  • Mason, O., Linney, Y., & Claridge, G. (2005). Short scales for measuring schizotypy. Schizophrenia Research, 78, 293-296.

Further reading

  • van Os, J. & Kapur, S. (2009). Schizophrenia. The Lancet, 374, 635-645.

  • Hills, P.J., Eaton, E., & Pake, J.M. (2016). Correlations between psychometric schizotypy, scan path length, fixations on the eyes and face recognition. The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 69, 611-625.