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A Journal on Psychiatry, Psychology and Psychopharmacology

Official Journal of the Italian Society of Social Psychiatry
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Minerva Psichiatrica 2013 June;54(2):173-84

language: Italian

The role of thought disorder index in the evaluation of Rorschach pathological thought: quantitative and qualitative aspects

Freilone F., Fratianni B., Caricchi D. I.

Dipartimento di Psicologia dell’Università degli Studi di Torino, Torino, Italia


This article aims at describing the main constitutive aspects and attendant psychopathology implications of Thought Disorder Index (TDI), a Johnston and Holzman psychodiagnostic instrument developed in order to analyze pathological thinking in quantitative and qualitative terms. Four different severity levels of the index have been examined (0.25; 0.50; 0.75; 1), from which derive the 23 scoring categories that the authors have identify in order to catch the most important types of Rorschach and WAIS-R verbalizations. Johnston and Holzman meant to obtain a summarizing index of pathological thinking. Nevertheless, the TDI can’t outline accurate quantitative differences among the main psychotic disorders. But from the qualitative point of view, this index results very effective in distinguishing schizophrenia, manic disorder, manic and depressed schizoaffective disorder: the Holzman team TDI empiric factors have been useful in improving this kind of differential diagnosis. Finally, latest studies show TDI highlighted that thought disorders are at heart of schizophrenic pathology and it also strengthened the hypothesis of many authors asserting pathological thought is an important marker for liability to onset of schizophrenia.

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