Developing a predictive model of social behaviours using a transdiagnostic approach

Psychiatric symptoms can be thought of as constellations of impairments, with substantial overlap across different diagnoses. Someone with depression and someone with an anxiety disorder may have many common impairments despite their diagnoses. Building predictive mathematical frameworks that link together traits (milder symptoms) and their underlying cognitive processes has proven powerful for understanding behavioural impairments that cross diagnostic boundaries. However, despite their importance for mental health, social behaviours have largely been ignored.

In this project, we aim to investigate the relationship between constellations of psychiatric traits and behaviour during social interactions. To do this we will collect a large online dataset. Participants will complete economic games to quantify their ‘cooperative phenotype’, and questionnaires to assess psychiatric symptom traits. Using structural equation modelling we will attempt to explain the variation in participants’ social behaviour.