Psychobiological operationalization of RDoC constructs: Methodological and conceptual opportunities and challenges. Academic Article uri icon


  • NIMH's Research Domain Criteria (RDoC) project seeks to advance the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of mental disorders by promoting psychobiological research on dimensional constructs that might cut across traditional diagnostic boundaries (Kozak & Cuthbert, ). At the core of this approach is the notion that these dimensional constructs can be assessed across different units of analysis (e.g., genes, physiology, behavior), enriching the constructs and providing more complete explanations of clinical problems. While the conceptual aspects of RDoC have been discussed in several prior papers, its methodological aspects have received comparatively less attention. For example, how to integrate data from different units of analysis has been relatively unclear. Here, we discuss one means of psychobiologically operationalizing RDoC constructs across different units of analysis (the psychoneurometric approach; Yancey et al., ), highlighting ways in which this approach might be refined in future iterations. We conclude that there is much to be learned from this technique; however, greater attention to scale-development methods and to psychometrics will likely benefit this and other methodological approaches to combining measurements across multiple units of analysis.

published proceedings

  • Psychophysiology

author list (cited authors)

  • MacNamara, A., & Phan, K. L

citation count

  • 8

complete list of authors

  • MacNamara, Annmarie||Phan, K Luan

publication date

  • March 2016