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Keywords:

  • allegiance effect;
  • meta-analysis;
  • risk assessment;
  • SORAG;
  • Static-99;
  • VRAG

The provocative results of Blair, Marcus, and Boccaccini (2008) suggest that the allegiance effect, previously suggested in psychotherapy outcome studies, may apply to studies of actuarial risk assessment. Despite this finding, the mechanisms of the effect, particularly in assessment research, are unknown and warrant further investigation. We discuss the file drawer effect, selective reporting, and “data massaging” as three potential explanations for allegiance effects in the assessment domain. Furthermore, we offer four suggestions for minimizing allegiance effects and their impact: routinely coding for allegiance in meta-analytic studies, operationalizing allegiance in multiple ways, encouraging collaborations among authors with differing allegiances, and creating study registries to track all dependent variables measured in studies.