Diagnosis and Classification

  • Daniel L. Segal
  • Frederick L. Coolidge

Abstract

Coupled with exploratory behavior, the desire to understand and to classify the things in one’s environment appears to be an inherent human trait. The word iagnosis itself comes from the Greek words dia, meaning apart, and gnosis, meaning to know, thus promoting the idea that to know or understand a condition one must be able to discriminate it from other conditions. The twentieth century psychologist Jean Piaget (1896–1980) postulated that the essence of the beginnings of knowledge in humans begins with the dual abilities of assimilating observations into existing categories and accommodating information that does not fit into existing categories by creating new ones (Piaget, 1932). The earliest roots of the diagnosis and classification of abnormal behavior, no doubt, stretch back into the very dawn of human consciousness and the rise of societal behavior. Acculturation processes and their evolutionary advantages over solitary existence probably served as a major impetus for the necessity of humans to decide who was capable of following the rules of society, who might be excused from them (perhaps the very young or very old), and who would not. For example, the contemporary Inuit North Americans describe, in their own language, a kind of antisocial personality disordered individual as “his mind knows what to do but he does not do it” (Murphy, 1976). In this introductory chapter, the major issues regarding the diagnosis and classification of abnormal behavior are analyzed. We first discuss the purposes of diagnosis and then provide a historical overview of diagnosis and classification. Next, we describe the current classification system and conclude with a discussion of criticisms and limitations of diagnosis and classification.

Keywords

Depression Europe Dementia Dementia Praecox Coherence 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Alexander, F. G., & Selesnick, S. T. (1966). The history of psychiatry: An evaluation of psychiatric thought and practice from prehistoric times to the present. New York: Harper & Row.Google Scholar
  2. American Psychiatric Association. (1952). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders. Washington, DC: Author.Google Scholar
  3. American Psychiatrie Association. (1968). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (2nd ed.). Washington, D.C.: Author.Google Scholar
  4. American Psychiatric Association. (1980). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (3rd ed.). Washington, D.C.: Author.Google Scholar
  5. American Psychiatric Association. (1987). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (3rd ed. Rev.). Washington, D.C.: Author.Google Scholar
  6. American Psychiatric Association. (1994). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (4th ed.). Washington, D.C.: Author.Google Scholar
  7. Aristotle (1952). The writings of Aristotle. In M. J. Adler (Ed.), Great books of the western world. Chicago: Britannica.Google Scholar
  8. Breasted, J. H. (Ed. and Trans.). (1991). The Edwin Smith surgical papyrus. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  9. Breuer, J.,& Freud, S. (1957). Studies on hysteria (J. Strachey, Ed. and Trans.). New York: Basic Books (original work published 1895).Google Scholar
  10. Cohen, R. J., Swerdlik, M. E.,& Phillips, S. M. (1996). Psychological testing and assessment: An introduction to tests and measurements. Mountain View, CA: Mayfield.Google Scholar
  11. Coolidge, F. L.& Segal, D. L. (1998). Evolution of the personality disorder diagnosis in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. Clinical Psychology Review, 18, 585–599.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. DeRubeis, R. J.,& Crits-Cristoph, P. (1998). Empirically supported individual and group psychological treatments for adult mental disorders. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 66, 37–52.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Edmonds, J. M. (Ed. and Trans.). (1929). The characters ofTheophrastus. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  14. Finger, S. (1994). Origins of neuroscience: A history of explorations into brain function. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  15. Fleiss, J. L. (1981). Statistical methods for rates and proportions, 2nd ed. New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
  16. Freud, S. (1965). The interpretation of dreams. New York: Avon (original work published 1900).Google Scholar
  17. Galen (1952). On the natural faculties. In M. J. Adler (Ed.), Great books of the western world. Chicago: Britannica.Google Scholar
  18. Grove, W. M. (1987). The reliability of psychiatric diagnosis. In C. G. Last& M. Hersen (Eds.), Issues in diagnostic research (pp. 99–119). New York: Plenum.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Harms, E. (1971). Emil Kraepelin’s dementia praecox concept: An introduction. As cited in Kraepelin, E. (1919). Dementia praecox and paraphrenia (R. M. Barclay, Trans.). In G. M. Robertson (Ed.), Dementia praecox and paraphrenia (pp. viii–xviii).Huntington, NY: Robert E. Krieger (original work published 1919).Google Scholar
  20. Hippocrates (1952). Hippocratic writings. In M. J. Adler (Ed.), Great books of the western world. Chicago: Britannica.Google Scholar
  21. Kraepelin, E. (1962). One hundred years of psychiatry. New York: Philosophical Library (original work published 1917).Google Scholar
  22. Kraepelin, E. (1971). Dementia praecox and paraphrenia (R. M. Barclay, Trans.). In G. M. Robertson (Ed.), Dementia praecox and paraphrenia. Huntington, NY: Robert E. Krieger (original work published 1919).Google Scholar
  23. Leckliter, I. N.,& Matarazzo, J. D. (1994). Diagnosis and classification. In V. B. Van Hasselt& M. Hersen (Eds.), Advanced abnormal psychology (pp. 3–18). New York: Plenum.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Livesley, W. J. (1998). Suggestions for a framework for an empirically based classification system of personality disorder. Canadian Journal of Psychiatry, 43, 137–147.Google Scholar
  25. Murphy, J. M. (1976). Psychiatric labeling in cross-cultural perspective: Similar kinds of disturbed behavior appear to be labeled abnormal in diverse cultures. Science, 191, 1019–1028.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Piaget, J. (1932). The moral judgment of the child. New York: Harcourt, Brace&World.Google Scholar
  27. Plato (1952). The writings of Plato. In M. J. Adler (Ed.), Great books of the western world. Chicago: Britannica.Google Scholar
  28. Prichard, J. C. (1835). A treatise on insanity. London: Sherwood, Gilbert&Piper.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Roccatagliata, G. (1986). A history of ancient psychiatry. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press.Google Scholar
  30. Schneider, K. (1950). Psychopathic personalities (9th ed., English translation). London: Cassell (original work published 1923).Google Scholar
  31. Segal, D. L. (1997). Structured interviewing and DSM classification. In S. M. Turner & M. Hersen (Eds.), Adult psychopathology and diagnosis (3rd ed., pp. 25–57). New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
  32. Spitzer, R. L., Endicott, J., & Robins, E. (1975). Clinical criteria for psychiatric diagnosis and DSM-III. American Journal of Psychiatry, 132, 1187–1192.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  33. Szasz, T. S. (1960). The myth of mental illness. American Psychologist, 15, 113–118.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Thakker, J., & Ward, T. (1998). Culture and classification: The cross-cultural application of the DSM-IV. Clinical Psychology Review, 18, 501–529.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Ward, C.H., Beck, A.T., Mendelson, M., Mock, J.E.,& Erbaugh, J.K. (1962). The psychiatric nomenclature: Reasons for diagnostic disagreement. Archives of General Psychiatry, 7, 198–205.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Widiger, T. A. (1997). Mental disorders as discrete clinical conditions: Dimensional versus categorical classification. In S. Turner & M. Hersen (Eds.), Adult psychopathology and diagnosis, 3rd ed. (pp. 3–23). New York: Wiley.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Daniel L. Segal
    • 1
  • Frederick L. Coolidge
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of Colorado at Colorado SpringsColorado SpringsUSA

Personalised recommendations