Psychological Science Can Improve Diagnostic Decisions

  title={Psychological Science Can Improve Diagnostic Decisions},
  author={John A. Swets and Robyn M. Dawes and John Monahan},
  journal={Psychological Science in the Public Interest},
  pages={1 - 26}
John A. Swets, Robyn M. Dawes, and John Monahan BBN Technologies (emeritus), Cambridge, Massachusetts; Radiology Department, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and Department of Health Care Policy, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, Department of Social and Decision Sciences, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and School of Law, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia 
The Search for Models of Clinical Judgment: Fast, Frugal, and Friendly in Paul Meehl's Spirit
Most psychologists have classified Meehl's “disturbing little book” as an attack against the reliability of clinical judgment and as a call for the replacement of clinical judges by actuarial
Experience on Judgment Accuracy The Meta-Analysis of Clinical Judgment Project : Effects of The online version of this article can be found at: DOI: 10.1177/0011000006295149 2007 2009 37: 350 originally published online 4 October The Counseling
Information Avoidance in Genetic Health: Perceptions, Norms, and Preferences
It is suggested that avoiding information about oneself may have negative consequences for social interaction, the patient-provider relationship, and health.
Comparing Effect Sizes in Follow-Up Studies: ROC Area, Cohen's d, and r
This work outlines why AUC is the preferred measure of predictive or diagnostic accuracy in forensic psychology or psychiatry, and urges researchers and practitioners to use numbers rather than verbal labels to characterize effect sizes.
The Ethics of Using or Not Using Statistical Prediction Rules in Psychological Practice and Related Consulting Activities
  • R. Dawes
  • Psychology
    Philosophy of Science
  • 2002
Professionals often believe that they must “exercise judgment” in making decisions critical to other people’s lives. The relative superiority (established in roughly 150 studies) of statistical
Clinical Acumen or Clinical Illusion ?
Subtest analysis is pervasive in psychological training and practice. That is, the speculation that the variability or profile of an individual's scaled scores across the subtests of an intelligence
A statistical analysis of board certification in clinical neuropsychology.
Commentary: A Practical Guide for Translating Basic Research on Affective Science to Implementing Physiology in Clinical Child and Adolescent Assessments
  • A. Aldao, Andres De Los Reyes
  • Psychology, Medicine
    Journal of clinical child and adolescent psychology : the official journal for the Society of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, American Psychological Association, Division 53
  • 2015
This commentary expands upon the work presented in this special issue by making a series of suggestions for how to most parsimoniously conduct multimodal assessments of affective processes in applied research and clinical settings.
The Meta-Analysis of Clinical Judgment Project
A small but reliable effect is found, showing that experience, whether educational or clinical, is positively associated with judgment accuracy, and indicates experienced counselors and clinicians acquire, in general, almost a 13% increase in their decision-making accuracy, regardless of other factors.
Generalizability of evidence-based assessment recommendations for pediatric bipolar disorder.
Evidence-based assessment methods may be useful in settings in which gold standard assessments cannot be routinely used, and they may help decrease rates of overdiagnosis while promoting earlier identification of true cases.


Clinical versus actuarial judgment.
Research comparing these two approaches to decision-making shows the actuarial method to be superior, factors underlying the greater accuracy of actuarial methods, sources of resistance to the scientific findings, and the benefits of increased reliance on actuarial approaches are discussed.
The science of choosing the right decision threshold in high-stakes diagnostics.
  • J. Swets
  • Computer Science
    The American psychologist
  • 1992
It is suggested that use of the decision techniques could substantially benefit individuals and society and asks how that use might be facilitated.
Signal Detection Theory and ROC Analysis in Psychology and Diagnostics: Collected Papers
The Relative Operating Characteristic in Psychology is studied as a form of Empirical ROCs in Discrimination and Diagnostic Tasks and Applications in Various Diagnostic Fields.
Comparative efficiency of informal (subjective, impressionistic) and formal (mechanical, algorithmic) prediction procedures: The clinical–statistical controversy.
Given a data set about an individual or a group (e.g., interviewer ratings, life history or demographic facts, test results, self-descriptions), there are two modes of data combination for a
The accuracy of predictions of violence to others.
The level of patient violence reported using self-reports and collateral reports was higher than has been obtained using other methods, and clinical judgment adds to predictive accuracy, but overall accuracy was modest and particularly low for female patients.
Psychopathy and recidivism: A review
Psychopathy is defined by a constellation of interpersonal, affective and behavioural characteristics that should, in principle, be strongly related to risk for recidivism and violence. We reviewed
Violent recidivism: assessing predictive validity.
Until very recently, there has been little evidence of the ability of either clinicians or actuarial instruments to predict violent behavior. Moreover, a confusing variety of measures have been
Applied Logistic Regression
Applied Logistic Regression, Third Edition provides an easily accessible introduction to the logistic regression model and highlights the power of this model by examining the relationship between a dichotomous outcome and a set of covariables.
Violent Recidivism of Mentally Disordered Offenders
Multivariate techniques were used to derive and validate an actuarial instrument for the prediction of violent postrelease offenses by mentally disordered offenders. The 618 subjects were a
Assessing the risk of violence in released mental patients: a cross-validation study
A statistical scale to assess the probability of violence in released mental patients was developed and cross-validated and used to predict subsequent violent arrests or readmissions during a 1-year follow-up period with multiple regression.