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December 1969

The Assessment of Social Disability

Author Affiliations

San Francisco
From the University of California School of Medicine and The Langley Porter Neuropsychiatric Institute, San Francisco.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1969;21(6):655-664. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1969.01740240015003

TWO developments have significantly altered the assessment of deviant behavior: the introduction of computers and the emphasis on social rather than psychological functioning. The computer has become indispensable for the modern scientist. He relies on it for medical literature analysis and retrieval,1 for the establishment of electronic data banks for use in clinical medicine, for computer-based recordings of physician's findings and comments,2 and for self-administered screening systems for newly admitted patients.3,4 In the narrower field of psychiatry, there exist computer-based methods for the initial psychiatric interview,5 recording systems for all psychiatric data,6 and programs for arriving at differential diagnosis.7,8 An attempt to simulate the verbal behavior of physician and patient led to the substitution of computers for living persons.9 Man-machine interaction thus can be expected in the future to play a greater role in the

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