ERIC Number: ED233250
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1983-Apr
School Psychologists and Clinical Judgment: Patterns of Data Utilization.
Carline, Jan D.
School psychologists function as experts in the diagnosis of childrens' educational difficulties. Can the decision-making activities of school psychologists be characterized as expert? Practicing school psychologists (N=10) reviewed cases of children (N=120) being considered for placement in learning disabilities programs. A case consisted of 17 educational cues, including scores from achievement tests and ratings of other aspects of academic and social performance. The psychologists rated each cue as to its relevance to the diagnosis of learning disabilities for the child represented in the case, and then offered a diagnosis for the child. Analysis of the ratings of cues and the diagnoses described the decision-making characteristics of each psychologist. Statistical analysis showed that the ratings of cues and decisions were highly correlated for each psychologist, indicating great consistency in the ways that individual cues were related to diagnoses. Further, the psychologists clustered cues in similar fashions when approaching a decision. The decision-making activities represented in these results may be characterized by logical and orderly processes. If orderliness is an important characteristic of expert abilities, then the results indicate that the decision-making of school psychologists may be deemed expert. (Author/WAS)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (67th, Montreal, Canada, April 11-14, 1983).