Chapter

2 Clinical Versus Mechanical Prediction

Assessment Psychology

I. ASSESSMENT ISSUES

  1. Paul M. Spengler PhD

Published Online: 26 SEP 2012

DOI: 10.1002/9781118133880.hop210002

Handbook of Psychology, Second Edition

Handbook of Psychology, Second Edition

How to Cite

Spengler, P. M. 2012. Clinical Versus Mechanical Prediction. Handbook of Psychology, Second Edition. 10:I:2.

Author Information

  1. Ball State University, Department of Counseling Psychology, Muncie, Indiana, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 26 SEP 2012

Abstract

This chapter compares and contrasts the relative utility of clinical and mechanical methods of prediction. Claims about the robustness of mechanical prediction are countered by recent meta-analyses demonstrating a modest improvement in judgment accuracy using mechanical formulas. Findings about clinical judgment are reviewed, including recent meta-analyses from the Meta-Analysis Clinical Judgment project showing a modest increase in judgment accuracy with increases in clinical and educational experience. These and other findings are placed in the context of over 50 years of debate about the relative utility of clinical judgment versus mechanical prediction. The conclusion reached is that the study of clinical judgment versus mechanical prediction has not optimally developed and that the field needs an infusion of new questions and areas of study to further develop.

Keywords:

  • clinical judgment;
  • clinical prediction;
  • mechanical prediction;
  • statistical prediction