Reviews of Important Papers on Forecasting
Before 1985 Reviews
Review of:

Robert M. Milstein et al. (1980), “Prediction of interview ratings in a medical school admission process,” Journal of Medical Education, 55, 451-453, and

Robert M. Milstein et al. (1981), “Admission decisions and performance during medical school,” Journal of Medical Education, 56, 77-82.

Many millions of dollars are spent each year on the use of personal interviews for admission to medical school. The major purpose of these interviews is to predict which applicants will be most successful at school. The 1980 study found that differences between interviewer and interviewee were of major importance. The greater the difference, the lower the prediction of success. The 1981 study examined 24 applicants who were interviewed and accepted at Yale's School of Medicine, but who went elsewhere to medical school (AYEs). They were compared with 27 applicants interviewed and rejected by Yale who also went elsewhere to medical school (NAYs). No differences were found between the medical school performance of AYEs and NAYs. That is, for predictive purposes, the interview was worthless. This study did a good job of eliminating alternative explanations. The conclusion is consistent with the research on personnel interviewing in businesses.