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Title: Heuristics and priming : investigating NHS professionals' judgments and decision making in child observations
Author: Kelly, Máire
Awarding Body: Queen's University Belfast
Current Institution: Queen's University Belfast
Date of Award: 2014
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The complex: and important task of clinical assessment includes the completion of observations to inform consequent judgments and management decisions. The current study investigated the impact of priming and professional variables on psychologists' judgments and decision making about a child they observed. A novel experimental method was employed where participants were assigned to a primed or unprimed condition (through simulated referral letters), and then viewed a video of a simulated "assessment" session where the child's behaviour was constructed to be deliberately ambiguous. Participants provided hypotheses and ratings of the child's behaviour, predicted their planned actions as professionals, and judged their confidence in their assessment. Results suggested that priming did not have a significant influence on participant ratings of the child's behavior. Although, priming significantly increased participant confidence in their assessment, it did not significantly affect proposed actions. Participant variables (e.g., age, gender, years of experience) did not affect behavior ratings, but professional training did significantly influence hypotheses generation, whereby qualified psychologists' hypotheses had more non-pathologising content and increased focus on difficulties within the parent-child relationship, than did their pre-qualified counterparts. These results are discussed within their theoretical and empirical context, as are the study's limitations and potential to inform clinical assessment and professional training for psychologists.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available