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June 1965

Behavioral Analysis: An Alternative to Diagnostic Classification

Author Affiliations

From the University of Oregon Medical School.
Reprint requests to 3181 SW Sam Jackson Pk Rd, Portland, Ore 97201 (Dr. Saslow).

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1965;12(6):529-538. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1965.01720360001001

DURING the past decade attacks on conventional psychiatric diagnosis have been so widespread that many clinicians now use diagnostic labels sparingly and apologetically. The continued adherence to the nosological terms of the traditional classificatory scheme suggests some utility of the present categorization of behavior disorders, despite its apparently low reliability1,21; its limited prognostic value7,26; and its multiple feebly related assumptive supports. In a recent study of this problem, the symptom patterns of carefully diagnosed paranoid schizophrenics were compared. Katz et al12 found considerable divergence among patients with the same diagnosis and concluded that "diagnostic systems which are more circumscribed in their intent, for example, based on manifest behavior alone, rather than systems which attempt to comprehend etiology, symptom patterns and prognosis, may be more directly applicable to current problems in psychiatric research" (p202).

We propose here to examine some

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