Monday, May 14, 2012

Training in Causal Reasoning

I'm working on a paper with my father and one of his colleagues.  Here's an abstract of the paper:

Recent calls for competency-based training and credentialing of mental health professionals focus heavily on instilling knowledge and skills needed for conducting evidence-based assessment and treatment. We propose the content of a companion training curriculum in clinical decision-making that reflects the pervasive and indispensable role of causal reasoning in clinical practice. Module contents of the proposed curriculum include review and discussion of: (1) domains in which practitioners are routinely required to make and evaluate causal inferences; (2) definitions of key concepts related to causality; (3) common errors in causal reasoning; (4) guidelines for evaluating the generalizability and applicability of causal findings in empirical studies to specific clients; (5) guidelines for formulating and evaluating working theories of the origin and/or maintenance of client presenting problems, especially as these pertain to the need for further assessment and treatment planning; and (6) methods for planning, targeting, and evaluating interventions. These modules are designed to help mental health practitioners employ causal modeling to enhance case conceptualization, develop intervention objectives, and prioritize and target foci of interventions that utilize evidence-based treatments or practice elements. Practitioners who use causal modeling diagrams to guide clinical practice are in effect deliberately generating causal hypotheses, implementing causal experiments, and evaluating outcomes as they monitor client responses to intervention. Causal reasoning competencies may be enhanced through the use of causal modeling diagrams, application of causal modeling diagrams to clinical case examples, problem-based learning strategies, and the Socratic method of systematic questioning.

I'm not aware of much work by philosophers having to do with training folks in causal reasoning (other than in the form of logic textbooks).  If anyone is aware of work by philosophers having to do with the above, I'd be keen on reading it.  Please send me references via email or post a comment on this post.


No comments: