Diagnosis, DSM-IV, and Dimensional Approaches

  • David H. Barlow
Part of the Applied Clinical Psychology book series (NSSB)


Classification is at the heart of any science. Without some objective ordering and labeling of objects or experiences investigators would be unable to communicate with each other and our knowledge would not advance. Each individual would then have to develop his or her own personal science which could not be applicable beyond one’s own subjective experience. When dealing with rocks or insects, these ideas are fundamental. But when the subject matter is human behavior, particularly emotional disorders, controversy surrounds all aspects of the endeavor including the very basic issue of whether classification could even be attempted (Barlow, 1988). Within the realm of emotional disorders, for example, major controversies have arisen surrounding what is normal or abnormal in emotional expression; the boundaries among the various proposed categories, and/or which features of an emotional disorder should be dimensionalized or scaled to provide more information or a more complete picture.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • David H. Barlow
    • 1
  1. 1.Center for Stress and Anxiety DisordersThe State University of New York at AlbanyAlbanyUSA

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