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Despite decades of debate, important questions about the boundaries that separate psychological disorder from normality and that distinguish 1 disorder from another remain largely unanswered. These issues pose empirical questions that may be addressed by assessing the latent structure of psychopathological constructs. Because these constructs are likely to(More)
Research on depression is often conducted with analogue samples that have been divided into depressed and nondepressed groups using a cutoff score on the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI). Although the relative merits of different cut scores are frequently debated, no study has yet determined whether the use of any cut score is valid, that is, whether the(More)
On the basis of taxometric analyses of data sets that they created to pose interpretive challenges, S. R. H. Beach, N. Amir, and J. J. Bau (2005) cautioned that using comparison data simulated by J. Ruscio's programs can lead to inaccurate conclusions. Careful examination of S. R. H. Beach et al.'s methods and results plus reanalysis of their data fails to(More)
There are several important decisions that must be made when implementing taxometric procedures such as mean above minus below a cut (MAMBAC), maximum covariance (MAXCOV), and maximum eigenvalue (MAXEIG). A Monte Carlo study was performed with 10,000 (5,000 categorical, 5,000 dimensional) samples to examine 5 ways to locate the first and last MAMBAC cuts(More)
Researchers and practitioners have long debated the structural nature of mental disorders. Until recently, arguments favoring categorical or dimensional conceptualizations have been based primarily on theoretical speculation and indirect empirical evidence. Within the depression literature, methodological limitations of past studies have hindered their(More)
Researchers have described 2 types of worriers, normal and pathological, who differ in the frequency, intensity, and controllability of their worry experiences. Although normal and pathological worry are generally treated as separate though related phenomena, no study has tested for separateness against the alternative hypothesis that all worry exists along(More)
The taxonomic status of psychopathy is controversial. Whereas some studies have found evidence that psychopathy, at least its antisocial component, is distributed as a taxon, others have found that both major components of psychopathy-callousness/unemotionality and impulsivity/antisocial behavior-appear to distribute as dimensions and show little evidence(More)
Meehl's taxometric method has been shown to differentiate between categorical and dimensional data, but there are many ways to implement taxometric procedures. When analyzing the ordered categorical data typically provided by assessment instruments, summing items to form input indicators has been a popular practice for more than 20 years. A Monte Carlo(More)
A number of recent studies have used Meehl's (1995) taxometric method to determine empirically whether one should model assessment-related constructs as categories or dimensions. The taxometric method includes multiple data-analytic procedures designed to check the consistency of results. The goal is to differentiate between strong evidence of categorical(More)
Previous Monte Carlo simulations and empirical trials have demonstrated the power with which taxometric procedures distinguish between taxonic (categorical) and dimensional (continuous) latent structures. However, questions have been raised about results obtained using procedures modified to accommodate dichotomous indicators. The present investigation(More)