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From Meehl to fast and frugal heuristics (and back) - New insights into how to bridge the clinical-actuarial divide

Katsikopoulos, Konstantinos V.; Pachur, Thorsten; Machery, Edouard and Wallin, Annika LU (2008) In Theory & Psychology 18(4). p.443-464
Abstract
It is difficult to overestimate Paul Meehl's influence on judgment and decision-making research. His 'disturbing little book' (Meehl, 1986, p. 370) Clinical versus Statistical Prediction: A Theoretical Analysis and a Review of the Evidence (1954) is known as an attack on human judgment and a call for replacing clinicians with actuarial methods. More than 40 years later, fast and frugal heuristics - proposed as models of human judgment - were formalized, tested, and found to be surprisingly accurate, often more so than the actuarial models that Meehl advocated. We ask three questions: Do the findings of the two programs contradict each other? More generally, how are the programs conceptually connected? Is there anything they can learn from... (More)
It is difficult to overestimate Paul Meehl's influence on judgment and decision-making research. His 'disturbing little book' (Meehl, 1986, p. 370) Clinical versus Statistical Prediction: A Theoretical Analysis and a Review of the Evidence (1954) is known as an attack on human judgment and a call for replacing clinicians with actuarial methods. More than 40 years later, fast and frugal heuristics - proposed as models of human judgment - were formalized, tested, and found to be surprisingly accurate, often more so than the actuarial models that Meehl advocated. We ask three questions: Do the findings of the two programs contradict each other? More generally, how are the programs conceptually connected? Is there anything they can learn from each other? After demonstrating that there need not be a contradiction, we show that both programs converge in their concern to develop (a) domain-specific models of judgment and (b) nonlinear process models that arise from the bounded nature of judgment. We then elaborate the differences between the programs and discuss how these differences can be viewed as mutually instructive: First, we show that the fast and frugal heuristic models can help bridge the clinical - actuarial divide, that is, they can be developed into actuarial methods that are both accurate and easy to implement by the unaided clinical judge. We then argue that Meehl's insistence on improving judgment makes clear the importance of examining the degree to which heuristics are used in the clinical domain and how acceptable they would be as actuarial tools. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
heuristics, fast and frugal, decision making, actuarial models, clinical judgment, linear models
in
Theory & Psychology
volume
18
issue
4
pages
443 - 464
publisher
SAGE Publications
external identifiers
  • wos:000259060200001
  • scopus:49649098186
ISSN
1461-7447
DOI
10.1177/0959354308091824
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
fbb2e626-4173-4e5f-aa67-d5f93650104c (old id 1246783)
alternative location
http://tap.sagepub.com/content/18/4/443.full.pdf+html
date added to LUP
2008-11-19 11:23:41
date last changed
2017-01-15 03:39:16
@article{fbb2e626-4173-4e5f-aa67-d5f93650104c,
  abstract     = {It is difficult to overestimate Paul Meehl's influence on judgment and decision-making research. His 'disturbing little book' (Meehl, 1986, p. 370) Clinical versus Statistical Prediction: A Theoretical Analysis and a Review of the Evidence (1954) is known as an attack on human judgment and a call for replacing clinicians with actuarial methods. More than 40 years later, fast and frugal heuristics - proposed as models of human judgment - were formalized, tested, and found to be surprisingly accurate, often more so than the actuarial models that Meehl advocated. We ask three questions: Do the findings of the two programs contradict each other? More generally, how are the programs conceptually connected? Is there anything they can learn from each other? After demonstrating that there need not be a contradiction, we show that both programs converge in their concern to develop (a) domain-specific models of judgment and (b) nonlinear process models that arise from the bounded nature of judgment. We then elaborate the differences between the programs and discuss how these differences can be viewed as mutually instructive: First, we show that the fast and frugal heuristic models can help bridge the clinical - actuarial divide, that is, they can be developed into actuarial methods that are both accurate and easy to implement by the unaided clinical judge. We then argue that Meehl's insistence on improving judgment makes clear the importance of examining the degree to which heuristics are used in the clinical domain and how acceptable they would be as actuarial tools.},
  author       = {Katsikopoulos, Konstantinos V. and Pachur, Thorsten and Machery, Edouard and Wallin, Annika},
  issn         = {1461-7447},
  keyword      = {heuristics,fast and frugal,decision making,actuarial models,clinical judgment,linear models},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {4},
  pages        = {443--464},
  publisher    = {SAGE Publications},
  series       = {Theory & Psychology},
  title        = {From Meehl to fast and frugal heuristics (and back) - New insights into how to bridge the clinical-actuarial divide},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0959354308091824},
  volume       = {18},
  year         = {2008},
}