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Katz MM, Cole JO, Barton WE, Editors: The Role of Methodology of Classification in Psychiatry and Psychopathology

Katz MM, Cole JO, Barton WE, Editors: The Role of Methodology of Classification in Psychiatry and Psychopathology

Washington: DHEW Publ. No. (HSM) 72-9015, US Dept HEW; 1968. (590 pages)

Reviewed by Martin M. Katz

CONTENT: The book is divided into four sections: (1) The Varying roles of Classification in Psychiatry and Psychopathology; (2) Issues in the Methodology and Statistics of Classification; (3) Perspectives and Reflections on the Major Conference Issues of Classification; (4) The Critical Review and Discussion of the Methodology Involved in a Series of Attempts to Develop New Typologies.

The contents under each of the four main sections include the following:

1. The Varying roles of Classification in Psychiatry and Psychopathology. A. The role of classification in psychiatric practice covering its role in hospital and outpatient psychiatry as discussed by leaders Henry Brill and Elmer Gardner and its role in psychoanalytic practice (Harry Weinstock). B. Its role in research on psychopathology. There were presentations and discussion of epidemiology by Ernest Gruenberg and Morton Kramer, for the science of psychopathology by David Shakow, and for predicting response to treatment by Jonathon Cole. C. The problems of classification in related disciplines and their relevance to psychiatry. Topics covered were in personality theory (George Kelly), abnormal psychology (Kenneth Hammond), sociology (John Clausen) and the problems in psychiatric nosology as viewed from the biological sciences (Seymour Kety).

2. Issues in the Methodology and Statistics of Classification. Topics covered were the meaning of discrimination, classification and mixture in statistics, the multidimensional representation of similarity structures and a survey of empirical clustering procedures.

These topics were discussed by Sam Greenhouse, Warren Torgerson, Sam Lyerly and leading Indian statistician, Radhakrishna Rao. Prominent were the issues in the methodology and statistics of classification.

3.  The Critical Review and Discussion of the Methodology Involved in a Series of Attempts to Develop New Typologies Attempts to develop new typologies drew their basic data from several diverse sources. New Descriptive and Phenomenological Systems were described by Roy Grinker and JC Nunnally, Maurice Lorr, John Overall and Leo Hollister, Martin Katz and critiqued by Ardie Lubin, Sam Greenhouse and Heinz Lehmann. This section was followed by Systems based on Patterns of Psychological Test Performance, Presented by J. Zubin, D. Saunders, Morris Stein and colleagues, discussed by Robert Harris and Edward Forgy. A third category, Systems based on Premorbid History, Course of Illness or Reaction to Treatment had presentations by Norman Garmezy, Donald Klein and Dean Clyde. The final category was Systems which attempt to Encompass Variables from several of the Significant Dimensions of functioning in mental illness with presentations by Nils Mattson and Ralph Gerard on Multidisciplinary Observational Vectors, and Neurophysiological Response Categories by Max Fink. Eugene Laska and Max Hamilton discussed these papers.

4.  Perspectives and Reflections on the Major Conference Issues. In this section Max Hamilton, Joseph Zubin and Rahdakrishna Rao provided perspectives on what the Conference accomplished and outlined areas that would be critical in future research to pursue in developing a truly objective and empirically validated classification system.  This was followed by two of the Editors Martin Katz and Jonathon Cole, views on how well the goals of the Planning Committee in designing this international conference were met.

EDITOR’S COMMENT: The conference on which this volume was based assembled leading psychiatrists, psychologists and statisticians to discuss, as its primary aim, the current status of research on developing a reliable and valid system of diagnosis of the mental disorders. The contents brought up-to-date in 1965 the results of research on the established systems of diagnosis, the statistics on the epidemiology of the disorders worldwide, current statistical methodology to study the problems associated with reliability and validity, progress in developing new typologies of the disorders and concluded with recommendations concerning the nature of necessary future research.

Exceptionally refined analyses of the issues and their associations with research in other disciplines were presented in a series of papers as outlined in the contents of the volume that follows. The volume was designed to provide a foundation for the development of a more objective, reliable system of diagnosis, one that could be implemented in research and contribute to the advancement of the science of psychopathology.

 

Martin M. Katz

February 5, 2015