Horsefeathers: A commentary on 'evolutionary versus prototype analyses of the concept of disorder'

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J.C. Wakefield's (1999) article further develops his harmful dysfunction (HD) model for disorder concepts. This commentary focuses on three areas. The first notes the imbalance in the debate between the Lilienfeld and Marino (1995) Roschian model and the HD model for disorder concepts. The second claims that Wakefield's purposes for the HD model have changed over the years and progressed toward irrelevance to psychopathology in general and toward irrelevance to actual nosologic, reimbursement, and sociopolitical controversies about disorder status. Further discussion is on how certain structural elements in Wakefield's arguments and current limitations of evolutionary theory permit a superficially attractive model for psychopathology. These arguments and limitations, however, harbor serious problems when confronted with actual disputes about disorders. The conclusion notes some virtues to Wakefield's inquiry, in style and substance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)433-437
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Abnormal Psychology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry


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