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An Inventory for Measuring Depression

A. T. BECK, M.D.; C. H. WARD, M.D.; M. MENDELSON, M.D.; J. MOCK, M.D.; J. ERBAUGH, M.D.
Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1961;4(6):561-571. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1961.01710120031004.
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The difficulties inherent in obtaining consistent and adequate diagnoses for the purposes of research and therapy have been pointed out by a number of authors. Pasamanick12 in a recent article viewed the low interclinician agreement on diagnosis as an indictment of the present state of psychiatry and called for "the development of objective, measurable and verifiable criteria of classification based not on personal or parochial considerations, but on behavioral and other objectively measurable manifestations."

Attempts by other investigators to subject clinical observations and judgments to objective measurement have resulted in a wide variety of psychiatric rating scales.4,15 These have been well summarized in a review article by Lorr11 on "Rating Scales and Check Lists for the Evaluation of Psychopathology." In the area of psychological testing, a variety of paper-and-pencil tests have been devised for the purpose of measuring specific

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