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The Hierarchical Taxonomy of Psychopathology (HiTOP) Is Not an Improvement Over the DSM

  • Author(s): Haeffel, GJ;
  • Jeronimus, BF;
  • Fisher, AJ;
  • Kaiser, BN;
  • Weaver, LJ;
  • Vargas, I;
  • Goodson, JT;
  • Soyster, PD;
  • Lu, W
  • et al.

In their response to our article (both in this issue), DeYoung and colleagues did not sufficiently address three fundamental flaws with the Hierarchical Taxonomy of Psychopathology (HiTOP). First, HiTOP was created using a simple-structure factor-analytic approach, which does not adequately represent the dimensional space of the symptoms of psychopathology. Consequently, HiTOP is not the empirical structure of psychopathology. Second, factor analysis and dimensional ratings do not fix the problems inherent to descriptive (folk) classification; self-reported symptoms are still the basis on which clinical judgments about people are made. Finally, HiTOP is not ready to use in real-world clinical settings. There is currently no empirical evidence demonstrating that clinicians who use HiTOP have better clinical outcomes than those who use the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM). In sum, HiTOP is a factor-analytic variation of the DSM that does not get the field closer to a more valid and useful taxonomy.

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