I am a PhD student and trainee clinical psychologist based in New York. My research is on the mechanisms of Auditory Hallucinations and the social epidemiology of psychosis. In addition to this I am also interested in the philosophical and conceptual problems around diagnosis and the history of Schizophrenia.
30 years ago, two statistically minded psychologists published a brief but elegant paper describing a phenomenon they called “the clinician’s illusion”. Patricia and Jacob Cohen were a highly distinguished academic couple who are better known for co-authoring a dense book on statistical technique that every research psychologist surely has on their shelves.
The Cohens were concerned with the judgements of clinicians, which even at their best are necessarily distant from the ideal of the precision of a carefully conducted statistical study. They noticed that clinicians tended to overestimate the severity of serious mental health problems, and reasoned there may be some systematic bias going on.
Here's another interesting post from Huw Green's blog: