Oh G-d, A Borderline: Clinical Diagnostics As Fundamental Attribution Error Page: 36
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recruitment. Furthermore, the projected sample size was based on a medium effect size that was
appropriate to conservative in relation to previous research. Given the changes in the
experimental design that lessened the saliency of contextual factors and increased the intensity of
the Client's behavior, the actual effect being sought after might be harder to observe. The use of
only one video stimulus is a related limitation. Using multiple videos depicting various levels of
intensity in behavior would have allowed for empirical determination of whether the extreme
behavior of the video was overly influential. Furthermore, recalling Tal-Or and Papirman (2007)
a condition without a video, and instead a copy of the transcript, might have helped to decrease
how dispositional the overall attributions made might have been.
That data was collected in an online format, while convenient, means that there was a
lack of experimental control over how engaged in the study participants actually were. This too
could be an important factor in the observed manipulation checks inaccuracies. Furthermore, the
wording of the manipulation check could have been inadequate or misleading: it only assessed
whether the participant received information about the Client and did not ask about the
information provided about the clinician. That discrepancy could have led to inaccurate
responding. Additionally, a simple manipulation check could have been added to assess the
internal diagnostic process of participants to better understand whether they were diagnosing the
Client despite being in the no diagnosis condition.
Conceptual limitations. The definition of what context is was limited in the present study.
As presented to participants, context only referred to occurrences in the Client's day prior to a
session and to small amount of the clinician's behavior during session. In clinical reality context
refers to a great deal more than those details. A clinician generally has access to much more of
the historical context that is relevant to a client's behavior (e.g., familial history, relationship
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Schmalz, Jonathan. Oh G-d, A Borderline: Clinical Diagnostics As Fundamental Attribution Error, thesis, December 2011; Denton, Texas. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc103389/m1/42/: accessed January 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .