What information matters? Using policy capturing to understand legal and psychological decisions about civil competency
1 online resource (90 pages) : PDF
University of North Carolina at Charlotte
Civil competency, or one's ability to manage one's own affairs, is an under-researched legal construct that impacts individuals, families and communities. The legal decisions surrounding civil competency seek to balance one's autonomy and safety, and clinical evaluators are often called upon to assist in these cases by making recommendations to the Courts. Despite the importance of both legal and clinical judgments in this area, this decision-making process is not well understood. Policy Capturing, an advanced methodology and statistical tool used to uncover empirically derived decision-making policies, was utilized in two studies to assess civil competency decision-making in legal and clinical contexts. In Study One, 21 legal professionals and 33 community dwelling adults rated vignettes to determine civil competency. The recommendation of the psychologist in the vignette emerged as the most influential factor in participant decision-making. In Study Two, 47 clinical psychologists in North Carolina rated vignettes to determine recommendations of civil competency adjudication. The most impactful factor in clinical decision-making was functional test data. Awareness of decision-making policies was also assessed in both studies. How the results fit into the broader psycholegal literature, coupled with relevant ethical issues, legal issues, policy implications and directions for future research, is discussed.
CIVIL COMPETENCYDECISION-MAKINGPOLICY CAPTURING
Reeve, CharlieMcAnulty, RichardArrigo, Bruce
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of North Carolina at Charlotte, 2014.
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