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Cuesta MJ, Ugarte MD, Goicoa T, Eraso S, Peralta V. A taxometric analysis of schizophrenia symptoms. Psychiatry Res . 2007 Apr 15 ; 150(3):245-53. PubMed Abstract

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Comment by:  Mark Lenzenweger
Submitted 9 April 2007 Posted 9 April 2007

The application of taxometric analysis techniques to schizophrenia symptoms will likely yield only one answer, namely that all of the schizophrenia symptoms are dimensional, when studied in a sample that consists solely of psychotic patients. This is so because, on the assumption that schizophrenia represents a reasonably coherent class, then the analysis is being conducted completely "within" the class of schizophrenia affected (or psychotic) persons—there is no mixture at the latent level. Taxometric methods are intended to answer the "taxonic question," (namely, is the underlying nature of a construct dimensional or taxonic in nature?), in a large, relatively unselected sample of individuals. In short, it answers this question when it can begin with data that exist "across" or "between" classes—the method assumes that the data being analyzed can contain a mixture of latent classes.

Consider if one wanted to determine if mental retardation represented a latent taxon as indexed by intellectual functioning, yet one gathered IQ data only on subjects from an...  Read more

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