Eliminating overconfidence in psychodiagnosis: Strategies for training and practice

David Smith, Frank Dumont

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Research in several domains has revealed that when individuals are asked to estimate the probability that their judgments are correct, they reveal an overconfidence effect. Judgments produced in decision environments such as psychodiagnosis, which are by nature complex ambiguous, appear to be most vulnerable to overconfidence. By implication, this phenomenon threatens the validity of clinical judgment and subjects clients to risk of flawed diagnoses and unsuitable treatments. The authors propose effective remedies to overconfidence begin in training programs that lead students through problem-solving experiences that can invalidate facile, premature, and dubious diagnostic judgments. Syndromes defined by the DSM-IV are permeable and fuzzy sets, and students must be trained to assign membership to these sets with caution.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)335-345
Number of pages11
JournalClinical Psychology: Science and Practice
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1997
Externally publishedYes


  • Clinical judgment
  • Debiasing
  • Fuzzy sets
  • Overconfidence


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