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Review
, 15 (2), 147-53

Milestones in the History of Personality Disorders

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Review

Milestones in the History of Personality Disorders

Marc-Antoine Crocq. Dialogues Clin Neurosci.

Abstract

This paper analyzes the major historical milestones in the study of normal and abnormal personality, from antiquity up until the 20th century. Special attention is paid to the interaction between dimensional and typological approaches, which was a major issue during the preparation of DSM-5. Theories of personality started with the humoral theory of Greek medicine. Pinel, and later Esquirol and Prichard, are credited with the first descriptions of abnormal personalities in textbooks of psychiatry. Between the late 19th and early 20th centuries, elaborate systems of normal and abnormal personality, associating to some degree types and dimensions, were devised by a succession of European psychologists, such as Ribot, Heymans, and Lazursky. Emil Kraepelin and Kurt Schneider proposed classifications of abnormal personality types. In parallel, psychoanalysts stressed the role of early life experiences. Towards the mid-20th century, statistical methods were applied to the scientific validation of personality dimensions with pioneers such as Cattell, anticipating the five-factor model.

Keywords: Aleksandr Lazursky; DSM; Emil Kraepelin; Gerard Heymans; Kurt Schneider; Théodule Ribot; character; history of psychiatry; history of psychology; personality; personality dimension; personality disorder; personality type; temperament.

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