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Title:Dangerous predictions: evaluation methods for and consequences of predicting dangerous behavior
Author(s):Bokhari, Ehsan
Director of Research:Hubert, Lawrence J.
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Hubert, Lawrence J.
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Anderson, Carolyn J.; Culpepper, Steven A.; Drasgow, Fritz; Rounds, James
Department / Program:Psychology
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):violence and dangerous behavior
base rates
receiver operating characteristic (ROC) and area under the ROC curve (AUC) analysis
positive and negative values
sensitivity and specificity
variance-bias trade-off
Abstract:This thesis focuses on prediction in the social sciences. We begin by discussing the “clinical efficiency” of prediction methods as defined by Meehl and Rosen (1955), and present three equivalent conditions for assessing clinical efficiency: (1) a probabilistic inequality from Meehl and Rosen; (2) an equivalent inequality given by Dawes (1962); and (3) a more flexible and easily computed inequality that we refer to as the Bokhari-Hubert condition. The misuse of the area under the receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve (AUC) is discussed, particularly when base rates are low. The biases associated with the AUC are examined with a recommendation that the positive and negative predictive values deserve more emphasis than typically provided in the literature. A thorough review is given for cross-validation, an important but often ignored evaluation strategy in developing predictive models. The bias-variance trade-off in prediction is explained, and several shrinkage estimators are examined. To facilitate our discussion, illustrative examples using predictive methods in criminology are provided and several are extensively examined. A detailed history of predicting dangerous and violent behavior is also given. As a final conclusion, great caution should be exercised when predicting outcomes with serious social justice consequences.
Issue Date:2014-09-16
Rights Information:Copyright 2014 Ehsan Bokhari
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-09-16
Date Deposited:2014-08

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