This study derives from the organismic-developmental approach of Werner (1948), who suggested some interesting comparisons between pathological and creative thinking. Eight schizophrenics, 6 visual artists, and 10 ordinary controls were compared along a series of tasks evoking symbolic cognition (symbol production, proverb comprehension, and symbol representation) and syncretic cognition (synaesthesia, structural eidetic imagery, and absorption), both constructs deriving from Werner's framework. We hypothesized that both the schizophrenics and the visual artists, relative to ordinary controls, should exhibit a high degree of syncretic cognition and confirmed this for 2 of the 3 tasks. We further hypothesized that the schizophrenics, relative to the other groups, should be markedly impaired on tests of symbolic cognition and confirmed this for 2 of the 3 tasks. We further confirmed their impairment on a task of logical reasoning. Although the samples were small and replications are necessary, our findings suggest that assessing the degree of similarity or dissimilarity in performance of these 3 groups enables a productive strategy in the study of cognitive psychopathology.