Date of Award

2015

Document Type

Thesis

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Tina Burdsall

Subjects

Personality disorders -- Classification – Analysis, Personality disorders -- Diagnosis

DOI

10.15760/honors.178

Abstract

This thesis discusses the possibility of a paradigm shift in the conceptualization of personality disorders (PDs), and eventually all psychological disorders, from categorical to dimensional. It examines the three main types of models utilized for diagnosing PDs. These main types are: the categorical model, where symptoms are organized in a check list based on categories; the dimensional model, where symptoms are organized on a spectrum rather than in a list; and the hybrid model, which is a combination of the two. It focuses on the strengths and weaknesses of each model and how they are used to define and diagnose PDs. In conclusion, there are significant gaps in the empirical evidence pertaining to the practical applications of the dimensional and hybrid models, therefore, a change in diagnostic criteria is not advised. Only when these gaps have been filled can a paradigmatic shift from a categorical to a dimensional conceptualization of PDs, and eventually all psychological disorders, occur.

Comments

An undergraduate honors thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Bachelor of Science in University Honors and Psychology

Persistent Identifier

http://archives.pdx.edu/ds/psu/15627

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