Emotion and the Joint Structure of Personality and Psychopathology

David D. Vachon, Robert F. Krueger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


There are numerous well-documented problems with the DSMs polythetic-categorical approach to the delineation of mental disorders. However, the DSM-5 introduces an empirically based dimensional model of personality traits. These traits form a hierarchical structure that represents the organization of dispositions to common mental disorders. We connect emotions to this joint hierarchical structure using a modified set point model, which accommodates major theories linking personality and psychopathology - continuum, risk, scar, and pathoplasty - as well as more dynamic multivariate models. We argue that these traits represent typical causal pathways that can be extracted from a complex web of equifinality and multifinality. Ultimately, research on mood disorders provides a stronger account of their underling traits than the variably endorsed symptoms of their polythetic criteria.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)265-271
Number of pages7
JournalEmotion Review
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 11 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© ISRE and SAGE.


  • DSM-5 trait model
  • emotion
  • personality structure
  • psychopathology


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