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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 236727 Find in a Library
Title: Does Using Nonnumerical Terms to Describe Risk Aid Violence Risk Communication?: Clinician Agreement and Decision Making
Journal: Journal of Interpersonal Violence  Volume:23  Issue:2  Dated:February 2008  Pages:171-188
Author(s): N. Zoe Hilton; Angela M. Carter; Grant T. Harris; Amilynn J.B. Sharpe
Date Published: February 2008
Page Count: 18
Document: PDF
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study examined whether the need for actuarial risk assessments yield valid numerical information about violence risk.
Abstract: Actuarial risk assessments yield valid numerical information about violence risk, but research suggests that forensic clinicians prefer to communicate risk using nonnumerical information (i.e., verbal terms such as high risk). In an experimental questionnaire study, 60 forensic clinicians disagreed on the interpretation of nonnumerical terms, and their nonnumerical risk estimates for one group of violent offenders were influenced by comparison with another group. Adding nonnumerical terms to numerical probability statements had no effect on hypothetical forensic decisions. These findings suggest that nonnumerical descriptive terms do not aid effective communication of violence risk and that contextual information might artificially affect estimated risk. (Published Abstract)
Main Term(s): Victimization risk
Index Term(s): Communications; Decisionmaking; Forensic psychology; Psychiatric services
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