Psychophysiological comparison theory: On the experience, description, and assessment of signs and symptoms Academic Article uri icon


  • A model is outlined to distinguish between the appraisal of signs and symptoms, and between cognitive and social sources of distortion in patients' descriptions of symptoms. The model is also extended to address the problem of calibrating symptom descriptions within and across individuals. Specifically, a formulation is specified to minimize distortions in symptom reports attributable to variable symptom perspectives and to social biases. We conclude by discussing the implications of the model for improving history-taking activities in order to obtain more accurate interpretations of patient reports of symptoms. © 1989.

author list (cited authors)

  • Cacioppo, J. T., Andersen, B. L., Turnquist, D. C., & Tassinary, L. G.

citation count

  • 18

publication date

  • June 1989