In a fairly critical review of the 6th edition of David Faust's Coping With Psychiatric and Psychological Testimony (based on the original work by Jay Ziskin), David Shapiro takes Faust to task for "beating a dead horse," arguing that
the clinical versus actuarial debate has largely been silenced now. It has been replaced by the well-accepted concept of structured professional judgment in which contemporary research informs the structure of the interview.Is the clinical vs. actuarial debate really dead, or are we still dealing with the issues Paul Meehl documented so cogently in his seminal 1954 book Clinical vs. Statistical Prediction? More than half a century later, don't many clinicians continue to rely almost exclusively on clinical judgment, ignoring actuarial and statistical models that could improve predictive accuracy? Do you agree with those critics who believe Coping With Psychiatric and Psychological Testimony hurts psychologists by providing ammunition to attorneys who want to make psychologists look foolish when they testify as expert witnesses, or did Ziskin and Faust make a major contribution to the field by forcing psychologists to improve their judgments, sharpen their arguments, moderate their claims to expertise, and adhere more tightly to scientific standards?
By David L. Shapiro
PsycCRITIQUES, 2012 Vol 57(35)