Current Directions in Psychiatric Classification: From the DSM to RDoC

  • Björn N. PerssonEmail author
Part of the Contemporary Clinical Neuroscience book series (CCNE)


In 2010, the National Institute of Mental Health initiated the Research Domain Criteria (RDoC), a new research framework for studying mental disorders. The RDoC is predicated on that psychiatric disorders are fundamentally disorders of the brain, which are best conceptualized as dimensional, and not discrete, phenomena. The RDoC approach stands in contrast to the more traditional Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), which relies on discrete diagnostic categories such that patients either meet diagnostic criteria or not. The present chapter has three explicit aims: (a) to describe the conceptualization of personality disorders (PDs) from DSM-III (American Psychiatric Association, Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders. Author, Washington, DC, 1980) and forward, including the differences between categorical and dimensional models of psychopathology; (b) to present some of the fundamental differences between the DSM-5 and RDoC perspectives; and (c) to describe challenges for the RDoC framework along with a possible alternative to it, namely, the network approach to psychological disorders.


Psychiatric classification Nosology DSM RDoC Network psychometrics Personality disorder Psychopathology 


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Cognitive Neuroscience and PhilosophyUniversity of SkövdeSkövdeSweden
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyUniversity of TurkuTurkuFinland
  3. 3.Blekinge Center of Competence, Region BlekingeKarlskronaSweden

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