Clinical judgment, clinical training, and professional experience

Psychol Bull. 1989 May;105(3):387-96. doi: 10.1037/0033-2909.105.3.387.


Reviews studies on training, experience, and clinical judgment. The results on the validity of judgments generally fail to support the value of on-the-job experience in mental health fields. The validity results do provide limited support for the value of training. Other results suggest that experienced clinicians are better than less experienced judges at knowing which of their judgments are likely to be correct and which are likely to be wrong. Reasons why clinicians have trouble learning from experience are given. Recommendations are made for improving training and clinical practice.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Clinical Competence*
  • Curriculum
  • Humans
  • Judgment*
  • Mental Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Psychological Tests / education
  • Psychology, Clinical / education*