The effects of experience, outcome feedback, and cognitive feedback on decision-making in child sexual abuse cases: A simulation study

Katarina Finnilä, Pekka Santtila, J Mattila, P Niemi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


We studied the impact of number of cases and feedback on decisions in simulated cases of alleged child sexual abuse (CSA). One hundred vignettes were given to 83 participants with no experience in investigating CSA. According to theoretical likelihood of CSA based on symptoms, that is, on the specificity of symptoms, the children were categorized as abused or not abused. The participants were divided into four groups: one got feedback on whether their decision was right or wrong, one got information about cognitive processes involved in decision-making, one got both, and one did not get feedback at all. Participants who got feedback on their performance made more correct positive decisions and participants who got information about decision-making processes made more correct negative decisions. Feedback and information combined decreased the number of correct positive decisions but increased the number of correct negative decisions. The number of read cases had in itself a positive effect on correct positive decisions.
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Pages (from-to)242–257
Number of pages16
JournalNordic Psychology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2012
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • child sexual abuse
  • decision-making
  • experience
  • expertise
  • feedback

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