- Social cognition refers to how people conceive, perceive, and draw inferences about mental and emotional states of others in the social world. Previous studies suggest that the concept of social cognition involves several abilities, including those related to affect and cognition. The present study analyses the deficits of individuals with schizophrenia in two areas of social cognition: Theory of Mind (ToM) and emotion recognition and processing. Examining the impairment of these abilities in patients with schizophrenia has the potential to elucidate the neurophysiological regions involved in social cognition and may also have the potential to aid rehabilitation. Two experiments were conducted. Both included the same five tasks: first- and second-level false-belief ToM tasks, emotion inferencing, understanding of irony, and matrix reasoning (a WAIS-R subtest). The matrix reasoning task was administered to evaluate and control for the association of the other tasks with analytic reasoning skills. Experiment 1 involved factor analysis of the task performance of 75 healthy participants. Experiment 2 compared 30 patients with schizophrenia to an equal number of matched controls. Results. (1) The five tasks were clearly divided into two factors corresponding to the two areas of social cognition, ToM and emotion recognition and processing. (2) Schizophrenics' performance was impaired on all tasks, particularly on those loading heavily on the analytic component (matrix reasoning and second-order ToM). (3) Matrix reasoning, second-level ToM (ToM2), and irony were found to distinguish patients from controls, even when all other tasks that revealed significant impairment in the patients' performance were taken into account. The two areas of social cognition examined are related to distinct factors. The mechanism for answering ToM questions (especially ToM2) depends on analytic reasoning capabilities, but the difficulties they present to individuals with schizophrenia are due to other components as well. The impairment in social cognition in schizophrenia stems from deficiencies in several mechanisms, including the ability to think analytically and to process emotion information and cues.