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An Application of Attribution Theory to Clinical Judgment

Murray, Jennifer; Thomson, Mary E.


Mary E. Thomson


The current article presents an application of attribution theory to clinical judgment, with a focus on the theory’s application to clinical judgments of violence risk assessment.
While attribution theory has been applied to many diverse fields of human behavior, a comparatively limited level of research and discussion has been raised regarding its
application to the very relevant and practical study of clinical decision making (Elbogen, 2002). The current article argues that is not only important for practicing clinicians to understand the way in which their client attributes causality to their behaviour in order to improve upon the effectiveness of therapeutic interventions, but also emphasizes the importance of recognizing and understanding the way in which the clinician attributes causality to the clients behaviour, and how this may affect the development of suitable therapeutic interventions and risk management plans. Through better understanding the effects of attribution on clinical judgments of violence risk assessment, it is argued that improvements to the effectiveness of clinical judgments in violence risk assessment may be possible.

Journal Article Type Article
Online Publication Date Aug 29, 2009
Publication Date 2009
Deposit Date Nov 12, 2012
Publicly Available Date Nov 12, 2012
Print ISSN 1841-0413
Electronic ISSN 1841-0413
Publisher PsychOpen
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 5
Issue 3
Pages 96-104
Keywords General Psychology
Public URL
Publisher URL
Contract Date Nov 12, 2012


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