NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ917279
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Jan
Pages: 6
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0161-1461
Balancing Certainty and Uncertainty in Clinical Practice
Kamhi, Alan G.
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, v42 n1 p88-93 Jan 2011
Purpose: In this epilogue, I respond to each of the five commentaries, discussing in some depth a central issue raised in each commentary. In the final section, I discuss how my thinking about certainty and uncertainty in clinical practice has evolved since I wrote the initial article. Method: Topics addressed include the similarities/differences between science and clinical practice, how to teach rational and critical thinking, access to new ideas, evidence-based practice (EBP) and theory, the importance of knowledge for clinical practice, clinical expertise, and the feeling of certainty. Conclusion: I was wrong about certainty and uncertainty. They are not the products of rational thought processes. Like many others, I have fallen prey to the myth of the autonomous rational mind. Burton (2008) and Marcus (2008) have convinced me that the certainty of our beliefs is influenced by feelings, emotions, desires, goals, and simple self-interest and is vulnerable to the idiosyncrasies of memory. This explains why highly rational thinkers will often reach different conclusions about the same set of observations (data). The only way to ensure scientific or clinical progress is to embrace a system that has a built-in mechanism for independent evaluation.
American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA). 10801 Rockville Pike, Rockville, MD 20852. Tel: 800-638-8255; Fax: 301-571-0457; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A