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Introduction

Regardless of the instruments used, the clinical assessment of thought disorder must begin with clarification of the meaning of this illusive concept. ‘Thought disorder’ is a widely used and often misunderstood term with a history of confusion regarding the definition, underlying mechanisms, and diagnostic specificity. Following a presentation of a working definition of disordered thinking and a brief mention of various areas of conceptual confusion, I summarize categories of assessment instruments used to measure thinking disturbances.

Defining Thought Disorder

A comprehensive definition of thought disorder encompasses a broad perspective that includes not only traditional concepts such as impaired pace and flow of associations, but also such factors as inefficient focusing and attentional processes; deviant word usage; errors in syntax and syllogistic reasoning; inappropriate levels of abstracting; ...

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