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Using Graphs to Improve Violence Risk Communication

Using Graphs to Improve Violence Risk Communication We examined the use of graphs as an aid to communicating statistical risk among forensic clinicians. We first tested four graphs previously used or recommended for forensic risk assessment among 442 undergraduate students who made security recommendations about two offenders whose risk differed by one actuarial category of risk for violent recidivism (Study 1). Effective decision making was defined as actuarially higher risk offenders being assigned to greater security than lower risk offenders. The graph resulting in the largest distinction among less numerate students was a probability bar graph. We then tested this graph among 54 forensic clinicians (Study 2). The graph had no overall effect. Among more experienced staff, however, decisions were insensitive to actuarial risk in the absence of the graph and in the desirable direction with the addition of the graph. Further research into the benefit of graphs in violence risk communication appears viable. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Criminal Justice and Behavior SAGE

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References (68)

Publisher
SAGE
Copyright
© 2016 International Association for Correctional and Forensic Psychology
ISSN
0093-8548
eISSN
1552-3594
DOI
10.1177/0093854816668916
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

We examined the use of graphs as an aid to communicating statistical risk among forensic clinicians. We first tested four graphs previously used or recommended for forensic risk assessment among 442 undergraduate students who made security recommendations about two offenders whose risk differed by one actuarial category of risk for violent recidivism (Study 1). Effective decision making was defined as actuarially higher risk offenders being assigned to greater security than lower risk offenders. The graph resulting in the largest distinction among less numerate students was a probability bar graph. We then tested this graph among 54 forensic clinicians (Study 2). The graph had no overall effect. Among more experienced staff, however, decisions were insensitive to actuarial risk in the absence of the graph and in the desirable direction with the addition of the graph. Further research into the benefit of graphs in violence risk communication appears viable.

Journal

Criminal Justice and BehaviorSAGE

Published: May 1, 2017

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