A Hierarchical Taxonomy of Psychopathology Can Transform Mental Health Research.

Conway CC, Forbes MK, Forbush KT, Fried EI, Hallquist MN, Kotov R, Mullins-Sweatt SN, Shackman AJ, Skodol AE, South SC, Sunderland M, Waszczuk MA, Zald DH, Afzali MH, Bornovalova MA, Carragher N, Docherty AR, Jonas KG, Krueger RF, Patalay P, Pincus AL, Tackett JL, Reininghaus U, Waldman ID, Wright AGC, Zimmermann J, Bach B, Bagby RM, Chmielewski M, Cicero DC, Clark LA, Dalgleish T, DeYoung CG, Hopwood CJ, Ivanova MY, Latzman RD, Patrick CJ, Ruggero CJ, Samuel DB, Watson D, Eaton NR
Perspect Psychol Sci. 2019 14 (3): 419-436

PMID: 30844330 · PMCID: PMC6497550 · DOI:10.1177/1745691618810696

For more than a century, research on psychopathology has focused on categorical diagnoses. Although this work has produced major discoveries, growing evidence points to the superiority of a dimensional approach to the science of mental illness. Here we outline one such dimensional system-the Hierarchical Taxonomy of Psychopathology (HiTOP)-that is based on empirical patterns of co-occurrence among psychological symptoms. We highlight key ways in which this framework can advance mental-health research, and we provide some heuristics for using HiTOP to test theories of psychopathology. We then review emerging evidence that supports the value of a hierarchical, dimensional model of mental illness across diverse research areas in psychological science. These new data suggest that the HiTOP system has the potential to accelerate and improve research on mental-health problems as well as efforts to more effectively assess, prevent, and treat mental illness.

MeSH Terms (6)

Heuristics Humans Mental Disorders Models, Theoretical Research Design Terminology as Topic

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