Prototypes and diagnoses : effects of attribute centrality and attribute distinctiveness

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Ronald Aubrey Boykin (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
Jacquelyn W. White

Abstract: The prototype approach has developed as an alternative to the classical approach to psychiatric diagnosis. This approach has been used to explain low reliability in diagnostic judgment. The research utilizing this approach has demonstrated that diagnostic judgment is affected by the number of attributes of a category exhibited by a patient. Specifically, patients who exhibit few category-congruent attributes are more likely to be misdiagnosed or considered atypical examples of a diagnostic category than are patients who exhibit many category-congruent attributes. However, the research has failed to control for attribute distinctiveness. In addition, attribute centrality offers an alternative explanation of the available research findings. The present study attempted to examine the effects of attribute centrality and attribute distinctiveness, using personality disorder diagnostic categories, while holding attribute number at a low, constant level. Experience clinical psychologists were presented with personality profiles containing attributes of Antisocial, Borderline, Histrionic, and Narcissistic personality disorders, and were asked to provide diagnoses.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 1987
Personality disorders $x Diagnosis
Personality assessment

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