• A Hierarchical Taxonomy of Psychopathology Can Transform Mental Health Research

      Conway, Christopher C; Forbes, Miriam K; Forbush, Kelsie T; Fried, Eiko I; Hallquist, Michael N; Kotov, Roman; Mullins-Sweatt, Stephanie N; Shackman, Alexander J; Skodol, Andrew E; South, Susan C; et al. (SAGE PUBLICATIONS LTD, 2019-05-01)
      For more than a century, research on psychopathology has focused on categorical diagnoses. Although this work has produced major discoveries, growing evidence points to the superiority of a dimensional approach to the science of mental illness. Here we outline one such dimensional system-the Hierarchical Taxonomy of Psychopathology (HiTOP)-that is based on empirical patterns of co-occurrence among psychological symptoms. We highlight key ways in which this framework can advance mental-health research, and we provide some heuristics for using HiTOP to test theories of psychopathology. We then review emerging evidence that supports the value of a hierarchical, dimensional model of mental illness across diverse research areas in psychological science. These new data suggest that the HiTOP system has the potential to accelerate and improve research on mental-health problems as well as efforts to more effectively assess, prevent, and treat mental illness.