Nora Schierenbeck


Project: From a Categorical towards a Dimensional Perspective – the Historical Transformations of the Classification of Personality Disorders (1980 – 2022)

Supervisors: Volker Remmert / Thomas Heinze


Kasinostraße 19-21
42103 Wuppertal
6th Floor, Room 22

Project summary

My PhD project is in the field of the history of psychiatry/psychology and deals with classification systems (DSM, ICD) that systematize mental disorders. Here I am investigating the shift from a categorical to a dimensional classification of personality disorders that took place between 1980 and 2022. To explain this change, the role of academic psychology, the development of statistical analysis methods, and institutionalized revision processes are taken into account.


  • Schierenbeck, N. (2023): Categorical vs. Dimensional Approach: Transformation of Scientific Knowledge Concerning the Classification of Personality Disorders. European Yearbook of the History of Psychology, Vol. 9, pp. 39-86. (preprint)


  • Schierenbeck, N. (2023): “About the classification of personality disorders: Transformations in the face of definable landmarks or incremental change?” Conference presentation at 9th Norwegian Conference on the History of Science, Trondheim.
  • Schierenbeck, N. (2023): “Von einer kategorialen zu einer dimensionalen Perspektive. Zur historischen Entwicklung der Klassifikation von Persönlichkeitsstörungen. Vortrag auf der Tagung der Gesellschaft für Kulturpsychologie und der DGPs Fachgruppe Geschichte der Psychologie, Ruhr-Universität Bochum.
  • Schierenbeck, N. (2023): “Women’s Impact on the Classification of Mental Disorders: Psychoanalytical Pioneers or Hysterical Research Objects?” Research Talk (online) at Croatia Libori Summer School 2023, Zagreb.
  • Schierenbeck, N. (2023): “The Historical Transformation of the Classification of Personality Disorders“. Poster Presentation at EPA 2023 – 31st Congress of Psychiatry, Paris.

Short Biography/CV

  • Since 2022: Ph.D. candidate in History of Science, Bergische Universität Wuppertal 
  • 2017-2020: M.Sc. Psychology, Universität Kassel
  • 2013-2017: B.Sc. Psychology, Universität Kassel

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