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August 1974

Video Methodology for Research in Psychopathology and Psychopharmacology: Rationale and Application

Author Affiliations

From the Clinical Research Branch, National Institute of Mental Health (Dr. Katz); and the Department of Psychiatry, New York Medical College (Dr. Itil).

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1974;31(2):204-210. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1974.01760140056009

We believe clinical evaluation of interview behavior has reached a plateau and propose a new method for enhancing the sensitivity of observational procedures.

Although of obvious value as a permanent record of interview behavior, video methodology has been difficult to harness. A method is described, based on advances in the development of standard rating schedules, designed to increase reliability of ratings, to emphasize the measurement of nonverbal, expressive aspects of behavior, and to enhance the capacity of observers in the exercise of clinical judgment. Its sensitivity was tested by comparing it with a conventional rating procedure in a clinical trial, involving the use of two drugs with different chemical structures but presumed to have similar actions. The video method showed increased sensitivity in detecting systemic and important differences in behavioral effects between the agents.