Individualizing risk assessment: Balancing idiographic and nomothetic data


Forensic mental health professionals are conducting risk assessment evaluations with increasing frequency in a variety of criminal, civil, and family law contexts. Although evaluators can choose from a variety of empirically validated risk assessment tools, there is comparatively little guidance on how data gathered during the evaluation should be utilized in reaching the final risk determination. In particular, research suggests that evaluators find it challenging to balance nomothetic and idiographic data in risk assessment contexts. After highlighting several errors involving the use of nomothetic and idiographic data, we offer guidance for achieving an effective balance between both sources of data. © Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.

Publication Title

Journal of Forensic Psychology Practice