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Regional Analysis of Self-Reported Personality Disorder Criteria


concerning this article may be sent to Eric Turkheimer, Department of Psychology, University of Virginia, PO Box 400400, Charlottesville, VA 22903; E-mail:


ABSTRACT Building on the theoretical work of Louis Guttman, we propose that the core problem facing research into the multidimensional structure of the personality disorders is not the identification of factorial simple structure but rather detailed characterization of the multivariate configuration of the diagnostic criteria. Dimensions rotated to orthogonal or oblique simple structure are but one way out of many to characterize a multivariate map, and their current near universal application represents a choice for a very particular set of interpretive advantages and disadvantages. We use multidimensional scaling and regional interpretation to investigate the structure of 78 self-reported personality disorder criteria from a large sample of military recruits and college students. Results suggest that the criteria have a three-dimensional radex structure that conforms only loosely to the 10 existing personality disorder (PD) categories. Regional interpretation in three dimensions elucidates several important aspects of PDs and their interrelationships.