The Concept of Expressed Emotion: New Empirical Evidence

  • Julian Leff


Expressed emotion (EE) was the term coined by Brown and Rutter (1966) for an index composed of several elements; critical comments, hostility, warmth and overinvolvement. Each element is a category of emotional response, which is rated from the audiotape of an interview with the relative of a patient. The interview is semi-structured and comprises questions about the patient’s symptoms and behaviour during the past three months. The interview is usually held shortly after the patient’s admission to hospital but can be given at any time. Ratings of the relative’s EE depend not only on what is said, but also on the way in which it is expressed. Thus considerable attention is paid to vocal aspects of speech including rate, volume, and pitch. After a training programme of about three weeks, most candidates achieve an inter-rater reliability of over 0.8 on all elements of EE.


Schizophrenic Patient Skin Conductance Express Emotion Auditory Hallucination Schizophrenic Symptom 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • Julian Leff
    • 1
  1. 1.MRC Social Psychiatry UnitOutstation: Friern HospitalLondonUK

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