Causes and effects of my disturbing little book

J Pers Assess. Fall 1986;50(3):370-5. doi: 10.1207/s15327752jpa5003_6.


Review and reflection indicate that no more than 5% of what was written in the 1954 book entitled, Clinical Versus Statistical Prediction (Meehl, 1984), needs to be retracted 30 years later. If anything, these retractions would result in the book's being more actuarial than it was. Seven factors appear to account for the failure of mental health professionals to apply in practice the strong and clearly supported empirical generalizations demonstrating the superiority of actuarial over clinical prediction.

MeSH terms

  • Clinical Competence
  • Health Occupations
  • Humans
  • Personality Assessment*
  • Personality Inventory
  • Statistics as Topic*