Assessment Information

It will be difficult for clinicians to learn from experience if they are using invalid, or marginally valid, information. This point was made by Trull and Phares (2001):

The accuracy of predictions is limited by the available measures and methods that are used as aids in the prediction process. If scores from psychological tests, for example, are not strongly correlated with the criterion of interest (that is, highly valid), then it is unlikely one could ever observe an effect for clinical experience. The accuracy of predictions will remain modest at best and will not depend on how "clinically experienced" the clinician is. (p. 277)

Bearing this in mind, one should be aware that some psychological techniques are controversial, at least when they are used for some tasks. For example, there is a controversy surrounding the use of the Rorschach (Lilienfeld et al., 2000, 2001). One problem is that the norms of the Rorschach Comprehensive System (Exner, 1993) may be inaccurate and may tend to make individuals look pathological even when no pathology exists. This issue has been hotly contested (Aronow, 2001; Exner, 2001; Hunsley & Di Giulio, 2001; Meyer, 2001; Widiger, 2001; Wood, Nezworski, Garb, & Lilienfeld, 2001a, 2001b).

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