Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology



First Advisor

W. Grant Willis


The present study compared individual against multidisciplinary team diagnostic and placement decisions. Specifically, this study examined if teams were more likely than individuals to incorporate relevant base-rate information into their decisions and to ignore irrelevant, or illusory, information (degree of intersubtest scatter). Members of 20 teams were asked to evaluate four case scenarios. Each team consisted of a school psychologist, an administrator, and an educational diagnostician. For two of the cases, base-rate information was manipulated; on the other two cases, intersubtest scatter on the WISC-Ill was manipulated. Participants evaluated one set of cases as a team, and the other set of cases individually. Individual responses were pooled and compared to team responses. Results indicated that teams were not any more likely than individuals to incorporate relevant information into their diagnostic and placement decisions. Teams were just as likely as individuals, however, to incorporate irrelevant information into their decisions. Clinical and research implications of the results are discussed.



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