Reliability of Professional Judgments in Forensic Child Sexual Abuse Evaluations: Unsettled or Unsettling Science? Mark D. Everson, José Miguel Sandoval, Nancy Berson,
Several studies have examined the psychometric properties of professional judgments in forensic assessments of CSA (e.g., Horner, Guyer, & Kalter, 1992; Jackson & Nuttall, 1993). According to Herman (2005, 2009), such research consistently indicates that substantiation decisions that rely on clinical or professional judgment rather than “hard” evidence lack adequate reliability, validity, and accuracy. It is essential to note that much of the research Herman relied on for this conclusion about reliability, validity, and accuracy actually focused only on reliability, defined as the degree of agreement between evaluators examining the same evidence.