The goal of the present meta-analysis was to identify factors that contribute to P300 event-related brain potential (ERP) differences in patients with schizophrenia compared to unaffected controls in an attempt to characterize the clinically relevant dimensions underlying P300 deficits in patients with schizophrenia. P300 effect size (d) was smaller in amplitude and longer in latency in schizophrenic patients compared to normal controls, with the strongest effects obtained from the auditory oddball. Paranoid subtype demonstrated larger P300 amplitude effect sizes than other disease subtypes, and P300 latency effect size decreased with disease duration. Psychopathology severity and antipsychotic medications were unrelated to P300 amplitude effect size. Gender proportion, educational level, and stimulus and task variables also affected P300 amplitude and latency effect sizes. The findings are used to formulate a theoretical account of the empirical data and provide suggestions for maximizing the utility of the P300 component in the assessment of schizophrenia.