November 17, 2013

DSM-V and the Five Factor Model of Personality

Here is the summary and this week's discussion questions, presented by Sara and Anne. We look forward to some good discussion!


  1. I will preface my comments by saying that I know next to nothing about personality psychopathology!

    • What is the clinical benefit of having a comprehensive dimensional model of
    both general and pathological personality traits?

    The biggest advantage seems to be having a model to refer to when trying to understand whether a particular patient is clinically impaired or not; however, part of me wonders if this is a more effective system than using the old distress/impairment rubric from the DSM. What do you guys think?

    • All of the measures used to assess traits are self-report. What are some
    limitations of this measurement and what other types of measurement might
    be considered?

    I wonder about the potential role of psychophysiological measures.

  2. Great point on the measures. There are certainly limitations in using solely self-report assessments, with one being how much insight does an individual have into the maladaptive nature of their own personality traits (if/when that is the case)? Personality disorder is often discussed as being more problematic for the others around the person than for the person themselves, so I would say that informant and clinician-rated measures would be essential future directions in this area (and indeed this is being worked on). I know less about psychophysiological measures -- do others have thoughts on how that type of measurement would help inform the study of models of personality?

  3. I know there is a lot of psychophysiological research on psychopathic personality traits, with one main finding that these individuals do now show the expected potentiation of the startle reflex that normally occurs during processing of aversive stimuli. I think there is a lot being done in BPD as well, trying to understand their psychophysiological responses to emotional stimuli. I'm not clear of how these types of findings have or have not been used to inform models of personality, but intuitively it seems that they could add a lot.