On Validators for Psychiatric Categories

5 December 2019 - 17:00-18:30

Lecture: Miriam Solomon, Temple University (USA)

Council Room, King’s College London, Strand

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The concept of a validator for a psychiatric category developed in the second half of the twentieth century and is still in use. Surprisingly, the term “validator” has never been explicitly defined in the psychiatric literature. Moreover, although lists of different kinds of validators have often been stated, there has been no explicit discussion in the literature about how different kinds of validator evidence should be aggregated in a decision about how to create, revise, or remove a psychiatric category. The goal of this paper is to trace the development of the concept of a psychiatric validator, showing how our understanding has changed over time. With this in mind, I evaluate possible recommendations for aggregating validator evidence.