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Clinical judgements : research and practice
journal contributionposted on 01.06.2009, 00:00 authored by Ian Bell, David MellorDavid Mellor
This paper explores issues that are relevant to the judgements routinely made by clinical psychologists. It first considers the relative merits of clinical and statistical approaches to decision making and notes that although much of the empirical evidence demonstrates the greater accuracy of statistical approaches to making judgements (where appropriate methods exist), they are rarely routinely used. Instead, clinical approaches to making judgements continue to dominate in the majority of clinical settings. Second, common sources of errors in clinical judgement are reviewed, including the misuse of heuristics, clinician biases, the limitations of human information-processing capacities, and the overreliance on clinical interviews. Finally, some of the basic strategies that can be useful to clinicians in improving the accuracy of clinical judgement are described. These include advanced level training programs, using quality instruments and procedures, being wary of overreliance on theories, adhering to the scientist-practitioner approach, and being selective in the distribution of professional efforts and time.