Scientific method, abduction, and clinical reasoning



This special issue of the Journal of Clinical Psychology comprises six theoretical papers that are concerned with the interconnected topics of scientific method, abductive inference, and clinical reasoning. The first four papers deal with the nature and limitations of a broad abductive theory of scientific method, and its application to clinical reasoning and case formulation. These are followed by three papers which in turn consider the prospects of using explanatory criteria to appraise competing models of psychopathy, examine the merits of a number of different psychometric perspectives on the assessment of psychopathology, and reject a core supposition of the orthodox approach to hypothesis testing. © 2008 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Clin Psychol 64: 1–6, 2008.