Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=2372101
 


 



From Group Data to Useful Probabilities: The Relevance of Actuarial Risk Assessment in Individual Instances


Douglas Mossman


University of Cincinnati College of Medicine

January 13, 2014


Abstract:     
Probabilistic inference plays a ubiquitous role in decision-making and often proceeds by applying data collected from past experiences to individual situations for which the data seem relevant. In recent years, however, many forensic mental health professionals have concluded that mathematical properties of probabilistic judgments prevent making precise, actuarially based risk estimates for individuals based on data derived from groups. This article uses a fictional scenario to illustrate how group data have an obvious application to individual decisions. The article also explains how misinterpretations of mathematical concepts and misunderstanding of the aims of risk assessment have led to mistakes about the applicability of group data to individual instances.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 22

Keywords: subjective probability, Bayesian inference, sex offender risk assessment, actuarial risk assessment

JEL Classification: C11, C13, K14

working papers series


Download This Paper

Date posted: December 28, 2013 ; Last revised: January 14, 2014

Suggested Citation

Mossman, Douglas, From Group Data to Useful Probabilities: The Relevance of Actuarial Risk Assessment in Individual Instances (January 13, 2014). Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2372101 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2372101

Contact Information

Douglas Mossman (Contact Author)
University of Cincinnati College of Medicine ( email )
260 Stetson Street, Suite 3200
P. O. Box 670559
Cincinnati, OH 45219
United States
513-558-4423 (Phone)
Feedback to SSRN


Paper statistics
Abstract Views: 114
Downloads: 59
Download Rank: 207,205

© 2014 Social Science Electronic Publishing, Inc. All Rights Reserved.  FAQ   Terms of Use   Privacy Policy   Copyright   Contact Us
This page was processed by apollo1 in 0.406 seconds