My research interests fall into three general categories: schizophrenia, psychiatric classification, and theoretical & philosophical psychology. Although my training is in clinical psychology, the questions driving my work lie at the roots of the discipline of psychology more broadly conceived. What is psyche? What does it mean to ‘measure’ the mind? What are mental disorders, and how do we come to know about them? What does it mean to ‘treat’ or ‘cure’ or ‘recover from’ a mental disorder?
In my understanding, how we study mental disorders—our epistemology—depends on what we think they are—our ontology. The methods we actually use to diagnose, describe, and treat mental disorders make certain assumptions about the nature of the mind and mental disorders, and so I take a keen interest in methodology (both quantitative and qualitative) and theory. Schizophrenia represents a paradigmatic mental disorder where multiple levels of analysis must be theoretically and methodologically integrated, and I am particularly interested in the historically-neglected psychological and social aspects of schizophrenia.
Recently I have also been interested on how people use tools from psychology or from beyond psychology to effect psychological change in their lived experience. More on this in years to come.
Lately (as of summer 2015) I have been thinking about:
- the concept of validity in psychology, particularly in psychopathology;
- the practical use of psychological tests/tools, as opposed to their ‘validity’ or their scientific use;
- the mathematical and conceptual coherence of DSM-5 diagnostic categories;
- applying philosophical concepts such as supervenience to psychopathology;
- constructs such as attachment that might bridge multiple levels of analysis in schizophrenia;
- whether psychology is a unified discipline;
- racial diagnostic disparities in schizophrenia;
- the use of ritual and image in psychological healing;
Please take a look at my cv to see what projects I’ve taken up in the past.