Mental disorders often involve modifications in the way subjects attend to and perceive other people. However, the nature of these changes and the way they unfold in different types of pathologies are not sufficiently clear. This talk addresses these issues from the perspective of phenomenological psychopathology. The primary goal is to suggest a new way of distinguishing the oscillations of social attention in subjects with mental disorders. This will be done by characterizing the experiential and cognitive properties of a fully intact capacity for social attention. This model is then used to typify alterations of social attention and perception in autism, schizophrenia, borderline personality disorder, and social anxiety disorder.