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The theory-based model of categorization posits that concepts are represented as theories, not feature lists. Thus, it is interesting that the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (4th ed.; DSM-IV; American Psychiatric Association, 1994) established atheoretical guidelines for mental disorder diagnosis. Five experiments investigated how(More)
Two experiments, incorporating both real-life (Experiment 1) and artificial (Experiment 2) stimuli, demonstrated that lay concepts of mental disorders can be reliably predicted from subjects' naive causal theories about those disorders. Symptoms that are deeper causes (X, where X causes Y, which causes Z) are more important in lay concepts than intermediate(More)
A single causal agent can often give rise to a cascade of consequences that can be envisioned as a branching pathway in which symptoms are the terminal nodes. In three studies, we investigated whether reasoning about root causes on the basis of such symptoms would conform to a diversity effect analogous to that found in inductive reasoning about properties(More)
Measurements of people's causal and explanatory models are frequently key dependent variables in investigations of concepts and categories, lay theories, and health behaviors. A variety of challenges are inherent in the pen-and-paper and narrative methods commonly used to measure such causal models. We have attempted to alleviate these difficulties by(More)
OBJECTIVE This article examined, using theories from cognitive science, the clinical utility of the Five-Factor Model (FFM) of Personality, an assessment and classification system under consideration for integration into the forthcoming fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) of Mental Disorders. Specifically, the authors sought to test(More)
Meehl (1973) has informally observed that clinicians will perceive a patient as being more normal if they can understand the patient's behaviors. In Experiment 1, undergraduate participants received descriptions of 10 people, each with three characteristics (e.g., frequently suffers from insomnia) taken from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental(More)
Knowing what event precipitated a client's abnormal behaviors makes the client appear more normal than if the event is not known (Meehl, 1973). Does such knowledge also influence judgments of the need for psychological treatment, and if so, does it matter whether the precipitating event was inside or outside the client's control? We presented undergraduates(More)
Psychological abnormality is a fundamental concept in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV-TR; American Psychiatric Association, 2000) and in all clinical evaluations. How do practicing clinical psychologists use the context of life events to judge the abnormality of a person's current behaviors? The appropriate role of(More)
How do causal cycles affect judgments of conceptual centrality? Generally, a feature is central to a concept to the extent that other features in the concept depend on it, thereby rendering it immutable from the concept (Sloman, Love, & Ahn, 1998). Previous research on conceptual centrality has focused primarily on features involved in four major types of(More)
A daily challenge in clinical practice is to adequately explain disorders and treatments to patients of varying levels of literacy in a time-limited situation. Drawing jointly upon research on causal reasoning and multimodal theory, the authors asked whether adding visual causal models to clinical explanations promotes patient learning. Participants were 86(More)