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Following Scott Lilienfeld's death in September 2020, the SSCP Board, with input from the SSCP membership, convened a committee to prepare a listing of Scott's most important works as a way to honor his contributions. Although not all SSCP members agree with all of Scott's views, it is clear that his body of work has had a profound impact on clinical psychological science.

The Committee that prepared the following was:


Ashley L. Watts, University of Missouri


Madeline Bruce, Saint Louis University

Thomas H. Costello, Emory University

Jonathan Huppert, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Scott Lilienfeld - Research Contributions

Dr. Scott Lilienfeld was a leader in the field of clinical science, specifically in the domains of scientific thinking in psychology, pseudoscience in psychology, evidence-based practice, classification and diagnosis, and personality disorders. Over the course of his career, he co-authored over 350 publications, served as the editor-in-chief of Clinical Psychological Science, was the president of the Society for a Science of Clinical Psychology and the Society for the Scientific Study of Psychopathy, and received the APS James McKeen Cattell Fellow Award in recognition of his lifetime contribution to applied psychological research. Perhaps most importantly, Lilienfeld dedicated much of his career to the dissemination of evidence-based practice and psychological science more generally to the public. Listed below are Dr. Lilienfeld’s major first-authored papers organized by content area. 

Evidence- and science-based psychological practice

a.     Lilienfeld, S. O. (2007). Psychological treatments that cause harm. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 2, 53-70. https://doi.org/10.1111%2Fj.1745-6916.2007.00029.x

b.     Lilienfeld, S. O. (2019). What is “evidence” in psychotherapies? World Psychiatry, 18, 245-246. https://doi.org/10.1002/wps.20654

c.      Lilienfeld, S.O., Lynn, S.J., & Bowden, S. (2018). Why evidence based practice isn’t   enough: The need for science-based practice. The Behavior Therapist, 41, 42-47.

d.     Lilienfeld, S. O. (2011). Distinguishing scientific from pseudoscientific psychotherapies: Evaluating the role of theoretical plausibility, with a little help from Reverend Bayes. Clinical Psychology: Science and Practice, 18, 105-112. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-2850.2011.01241.x

e.     Meichenbaum, D., & Lilienfeld, S. O. (2018). How to spot hype in the field of psychotherapy: A 19-item checklist. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 49, 22-30. https://psycnet.apa.org/doi/10.1037/pro0000172

f.      Lilienfeld, S. O., Ritschel, L. A., Lynn, S. J., Cautin, R. L., & Latzman, R. D. (2013). Why many clinical psychologists are resistant to evidence-based practice: Root causes and constructive remedies. Clinical Psychology Review, 33, 883-900. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cpr.2012.09.008

g.     Lilienfeld, S. O., Ritschel, L. A., Lynn, S. J., Cautin, R. L., & Latzman, R. D. (2014). Why ineffective psychotherapies appear to work: A taxonomy of causes of spurious therapeutic effectiveness. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 9, 355-387. https://doi.org/10.1177/1745691614535216

h.     Lilienfeld, S. O., Marshall, J., Todd, J. T., & Shane, H. C. (2014). The persistence of fad interventions in the face of negative scientific evidence: Facilitated communication for autism as a case example. Evidence-Based Communication Assessment and Intervention, 8, 62-101. https://doi.org/10.1080/17489539.2014.976332

i.       Lilienfeld, S. O. (1999). Projective measures of personality and psychopathology: How well do they work? Skeptical Inquirer, 23, 32-39.

j.       Lilienfeld, S. O., Wood, J. M., & Garb, H. N. (2000). The scientific status of projective techniques. Psychological Science in the Public Interest, 1, 27-66. https://doi.org/10.1111%2F1529-1006.002

Conceptual issues in classification and diagnosis

a.     Lilienfeld, S. O. (2014). DSM‐5: Centripetal scientific and centrifugal antiscientific forces. Clinical Psychology: Science and Practice, 21, 269-279. https://doi.org/10.1111/cpsp.12075

b.     Lilienfeld, S.O. (2004). Defining mental illness: Is it worth the trouble? Journal of Clinical Psychology, 60, 1249-1253. https://doi.org/10.1002/jclp.20067

c.      Lilienfeld, S. O., & Marino, L. (1999). Essentialism revisited: Evolutionary theory and the concept of mental disorder. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 108, 400–411. https://doi.org/10.1037//0021-843x.108.3.400

d.     Lilienfeld, S.O., & Marino, L. (1995).  Mental disorder as a Roschian concept: A critique of Wakefield's 'harmful dysfunction' analysis. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 104, 411-420. https://doi.org/10.1037//0021-843x.104.3.411

e.     Lilienfeld, S.O., Waldman, I.D., & Israel, A. (1994). A critical examination of the use of the term and concept of "comorbidity" in psychopathology research. Clinical Psychology: Science and Practice, 1, 71-83. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-2850.1994.tb00007.x

f.      Lilienfeld, S. O., Miller, J. D., & Lynam, D. R. (2018). The Goldwater Rule: Perspectives    

from, and implications for, psychological science. Perspectives on Psychological   Science, 13, 3-27. https://doi.org/10.1177/1745691617727864

g.     Lilienfeld, S. O., & Treadway, M. T. (2016). Clashing Diagnostic Approaches: DSM-ICD versus RDoC. Annual Review of Clinical Psychology, 12, 435-463. https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev-clinpsy-021815-093122

h.     Lilienfeld, S. O., & Pinto, M. D. (2015). Risky tests of etiological models in psychopathology research: The need for meta-methodology. Psychological Inquiry, 26, 253-258. https://doi.org/10.1080/1047840X.2015.1039920

i.       Lilienfeld, S. O. (2014). The Research Domain Criteria (RDoC): An analysis of methodological and conceptual challenges. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 62, 129-139. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.brat.2014.07.019

Psychology: Science and pseudoscience

a.     Lilienfeld, S. O., Sauvigné, K. C., Lynn, S. J., Cautin, R. L., Latzman, R. D., & Waldman, I. D. (2015). Fifty psychological and psychiatric terms to avoid: a list of inaccurate, misleading, misused, ambiguous, and logically confused words and phrases. Frontiers in Psychology, 6, 1100. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2015.01100

b.     Lilienfeld, S. O. (2012). Public skepticism of psychology: why many people perceive the study of human behavior as unscientific. American Psychologist, 67, 111-129. https://doi.org/10.1037/a0023963

c.      Lilienfeld, S. O., Ammirati, R., & David, M. (2012). Distinguishing science from pseudoscience in school psychology: Science and scientific thinking as safeguards against human error. Journal of School Psychology, 50, 7-36.

d.     Lilienfeld, S.O. (2010). Can psychology become a science? Personality and Individual Differences, 49, 281-288.https://doi.org/10.1016/j.paid.2010.01.024

e.     Lilienfeld, S. O., Lynn, S. J., & Lohr, J. M. (2004). Science and pseudoscience in clinical psychology: Initial thoughts, reflections, and considerations. Science and Pseudoscience in Clinical Psychology, 1-16.

f.      Lilienfeld, S. O., Lohr, J. M., & Morier, D. (2001). The teaching of courses in the science and pseudoscience of psychology: Useful resources. Teaching of Psychology, 28, 182-191. https://doi.org/10.1207%2FS15328023TOP2803_03

g.     Lilienfeld, S. O. (1998). Pseudoscience in contemporary clinical psychology: What it is and what we can do about it. The Clinical Psychologist, 51, 3-9. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jsp.2011.09.006 

Psychopathic personality and personality disorders; the relation of personality disorders to normal-range personality traits; antisocial and criminal behavior

a.     Lilienfeld, S.O. (1994). Conceptual problems in the assessment of psychopathy. Clinical Psychology Review, 14, 17-38. https://doi.org/10.1016/0272-7358(94)90046-9

b.     Lilienfeld, S.O. (1998). Recent methodological advances and developments in the assessment of psychopathy. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 36, 99-125. http://www.doi.org/10.1016/s0005-7967(97)10021-3

c.      Lilienfeld, S.O., & Andrews, B.P. (1996). Development and preliminary validation of a self-report measure of psychopathic personality traits in noncriminal populations. Journal of  Personality Assessment, 66, 488-524. http://www.doi.org/10.1207/s15327752jpa6603_3

d.     Lilienfeld, S. O. (2018). The multidimensional nature of psychopathy: Five recommendations for research. Journal of Psychopathology and Behavioral Assessment, 40, 79-85. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10862-018-9657-7

e.     Lilienfeld, S. O., Watts, A. L., Francis Smith, S., Berg, J. M., & Latzman, R. D. (2015). Psychopathy deconstructed and reconstructed: Identifying and assembling the personality building blocks of Cleckley's chimera. Journal of Personality, 83, 593-610. http://www.doi.org/10.1111/jopy.12118

f.      Lilienfeld, S. O., Watts, A. L., & Smith, S. F. (2015). Successful psychopathy: A scientific status report. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 24, 298-303. https://doi.org/10.1177/0963721415580297

g.     Lilienfeld, S. O. (2013). Is psychopathy a syndrome? Commentary on Marcus, Fulton, and Edens. Personality Disorders: Theory, Research, and Treatment, 4, 85–86. https://doi.org/10.1037/a0027544

h.     Lilienfeld, S. O., Watts, A. L., Murphy, B., Costello, T. H., Bowes, S. M., Smith, S. F., ... & Tabb, K. (2019). Personality disorders as emergent interpersonal syndromes: Psychopathic personality as a case example. Journal of Personality Disorders, 33, 577-622. http://www.doi.org/10.1521/pedi.2019.33.5.577 

i.       Lilienfeld, S.O., Patrick, C.J., Benning, S.D., Berg, J.M.., & Edens, J. F. (2012) The role of fearless dominance in psychopathy: Confusions, controversies, and clarifications. Personality Disorders: Theory, Treatment, and Research, 3, 327-333. https://doi.org/10.1037/a0026987

The etiology, assessment, and treatment of anxiety and mood disorders

a.     Lilienfeld, S.O. (2007). Cognitive neuroscience and depression: Legitimate vs. illegitimate reductionism and 5 challenges. Cognitive Therapy and Research, 31, 263-271. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10608-007-9127-0

b.     Lilienfeld, S.O., Turner, S.M., & Jacob, R.G. (1998). Deja vu all over again: Critical misunderstandings concerning anxiety sensitivity and constructive suggestions for future research. Journal of Anxiety Disorders, 12, 71-82. http://www.doi.org/10.1016/s0887-6185(97)00050-9

c.     Lilienfeld, S.O. (1997).  The relation of anxiety sensitivity to higher- and lower-order personality dimensions: Implications for the etiology of panic attacks. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 106, 539-544. http://www.doi.org/10.1037//0021-843x.106.4.539

d.     Lilienfeld, S.O., Turner, S.M., & Jacob, R.G. (1996).  Further comments on the nature and measurement of anxiety sensitivity: A reply to Taylor (1995b). Journal of Anxiety Disorders, 10, 411-424. https://doi.org/10.1016/0887-6185(96)00020-5

e.     Lilienfeld, S.O. (1993). Anxiety sensitivity: An examination of theoretical and methodological issues. Advances in Behaviour Research and Therapy, 15, 147-183. https://doi.org/10.1016/0146-6402(93)90019-X