Fifty-four subjects participated in a study on the effects of general referral information about a client on subsequent clinical inferences about this client. They were randomly assigned to a “referral information” or “no referral information” condition before
being presented with additional data. Clinical inferential tasks included the assessment of maladjustment, client stress, depressive status; psychiatric emergency, and global psychosocial functioning. Both univariate, and where applicable multivariate, tests consistently yielded nonsignificant
results. It is concluded that general referral information may not affect, let alone bias, the clinical inference of depression. Drawing upon salience theory, it is cautioned that this may not be the case when specific data, high in diagnosticity, are included in a referral note.