Hammond Receives Award For Book On Judgment

Published: May 1, 1997

A book authored by Kenneth Hammond, a retired University of Colorado at Boulder psychology professor and a leading expert on human decision-making, has received an award from the American Educational Research Association as the publication making the most significant contribution during the past year.

Hammond is the author of "Human Judgment and Social Policy: Irreducible Uncertainty, Inevitable Error, Unavoidable Injustice" published by Oxford University Press. Now 80, Hammond wrote the book in his late 70s after retiring from CU-Boulder. The 1996 book illustrates the consequences of uncertainty with numerous examples from medicine, engineering, law and economics.

AERA is a national organization of educational researchers in professions such as medicine, architecture, the military, dentistry and law. Every year, the group identifies the one publication that has made the greatest contribution to theory and research in education in the professions.

"I know that I, like many others in our field, have followed your work and benefited from your writings for many years, as I have tried to teach, understand and evaluate judgment skills and performance in medical students and physicians," wrote Larry Gruppen, associate research scientist at the University of Michigan Medical School on behalf of AERA.

Hammond's book contends that uncertainty can almost never be eliminated from social policy decisions, which means that errors and injustices inevitably will occur in some instances. More recognition of this fact and of advances in the field of judgment and decision-making could help policy makers avoid undesirable consequences, he said.