John Ruscio - The College of New Jersey
Antonee R. Stern - Elizabethtown College
Reaching holistic judgments requires an ability to combine multiple sources of information in an interactive-rather than additive-manner, a cognitively challenging process unsupported by research in the judge-modeling tradition. In three experiments, we more directly tested individuals' ability to make holistic judgments by explicitly showing them how to do so. Participants were provided with full specifications for a judgment task and given specific instructions on how to generate accurate predictions. Relative to a comparison condition in which two cues were additively related to a criterion, holistic judgments based on two interacting cues were less consistent and accurate. These results were replicated and extended across educational levels, academic disciplines, and clinical experience. The inability of par-ticipants to make holistic judgments in a task of minimal complexity has implications for the practical utility of sup-plementing or replacing holistic judgment with statistical prediction rules in clinical practice.