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An overview and analysis of the behaviorist criticism of the diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (DSM)
Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences. Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences, Clinical and Social Psychology.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-4753-6745
2006 (English)In: Clinical Psychologist, ISSN 1328-4207, Vol. 10, 67-77 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

 While a majority of cognitive-behavioural researchers and clinicians adhere to the classification system provided in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV; American Psychiatric Association, 1994, 2000), strong objections have been voiced among behaviourists who find the dichotomous allocation of patients into psychiatric diagnoses incompatible with the philosophy of behaviorism and practice of functional analysis. The aim of this paper is to give an overview of the current debate and to analyze the tension between the DSM-IV and functional analysis along the following contrasts: Inductive vs. Deductive, Idiographic vs. Nomothetic, Contextualism vs. Mechanism, Social constructions vs. Real Entities, and Dimensions vs. Categories. Finally, some suggested alternatives are discussed. It is concluded that there is a need for alternative systems to the DSM with treatment utility.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2006. Vol. 10, 67-77 p.
National Category
Social Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-37325Local ID: 34609OAI: diva2:258174
Available from: 2009-10-10 Created: 2009-10-10 Last updated: 2014-11-28

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