Determinants of diagnostic prototypicality judgments of the personality disorders

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Diana Lee Herbert (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
Rosemery Nelson-Gray

Abstract: The recent advent of the third edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders represented a major shift from a monothetic to a polythetic system for the categorization of psychopathology. Accompanying this shift has been an increased interest in the prototype model of categorization, particularly with respect to the personality disorders. Despite this heightened interest in alternative models of psychiatric nosology, little is known about the precise factors that determine the diagnostic process. The present study examined three factors that have been suggested to be important determinants of personality disorder diagnoses within the prototype model of categorization. These factors included the number of features representative of a personality disorder category, the extent to which those features are typical of the category, and the "dominance" or proportion of category features to the total number of features. A series of personality profiles was constructed in which the above factors were varied factorially. Thirtytwo practicing doctoral-level clinical psychologists read 12 profiles of hypothetical clients, and provided ratings of how prototypical each client was of each of the 11 DSM-III personality disorders. Subjects also selected one diagnosis that best categorized the profile.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 1990
Personality disorders $x Diagnosis
Psychology, Pathological

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