Psychometric theory is the basis for the development of assessment instruments in psychiatric research. However, the psychometric model appears to be largely inadequate in the clinical setting because of its lack of sensitivity to change and its quest for homogeneous components. Clinimetrics offers a viable alternative to psychometrics, both from a conceptual and a methodological viewpoint. Current diagnostic entities (DSM) are based on clinimetric principles, but their use is still influenced by psychometric models. Suggestions for switching gears in assessment research are offered.
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