Lee Anna Clark & David Watson
William J. and Dorothy K. O’Neill Professor of Psychology and Chair of the Department of Psychology (Clark)
Andrew J. McKenna Family Professor of Psychology (Watson)
Co-Directors of the Center for Advanced Measurement of Personality and Psychopathology
We came to Notre Dame in 2010 to help build the new doctoral program in clinical psychology, which replaced the previous counseling program and has since been accredited by the American Psychological Association. This has proven to be a stimulating, sometimes challenging, but ultimately very rewarding experience.
Notre Dame is also great for us from a clinical-research perspective, as our lab, the Center for Advanced Measurement of Personality and Psychopathology (CAMPP), is ideally located near a pair of facilities that between them offer both inpatient and outpatient psychiatric services. Working in such close proximity to the patient populations we study is invaluable.
Throughout our career together, starting when we met and then married as doctoral students at the University of Minnesota, we have sought to integrate the various ways psychologists approach anxiety, depressive, personality, and other psychological disorders so as to understand them more fully. A better understanding of the disorders themselves, in turn, will help us to improve the care delivered.
Our findings indicate that it is far more useful to think about psychological disorders in terms of the underlying emotions and personality traits that they share, rather than viewing them as mutually exclusive categories of diagnosis. In 30-plus years of research, we’ve developed more than two dozen assessment instruments—including the widely used Positive and Negative Affect Schedule—that help us to quantify and thereby understand these aspects of psychological disorders.
As with any field, there is a natural gap in psychology between research and the adoption of its findings as standard practice. Nevertheless, the two of us have been privileged to play a leading role in an ongoing paradigm shift within our discipline, one that is moving us from a categorical to a quantitative, hierarchical, dimensional conceptualization of psychological disorders. We are excited to be continuing this work through the CAMPP in partnership with a talented and dedicated group of students, staff, community mental health providers, and local practitioners.