This survey of 206 forensic psychologists tested the “filtering” effects of preexisting expert attitudes in adversarial proceedings. Results confirmed the hypothesis that evaluator attitudes toward capital punishment influence willingness to accept capital case referrals from particular adversarial parties.

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    • This research was conducted as part of the author’s doctoral dissertation under the mentorship of Stanley L. Brodsky, Department of Psychology, University of Alabama (UA). Thanks to Jacklyn E. Nagle, Philip J. Neal, and Mary Beth Hubbard at UA for helping with mail survey preparation and data entry, to Erik J. Girvan at the University of Oregon School of Law for helpful feedback and advice, and the psychologist-participants for their time, effort, and feedback.
    • Portions of these results were presented at the 2012 annual conference of the American Psychology-Law Society (AP-LS) in San Juan, Puerto Rico, and the 2013 annual AP-LS conference in Portland, OR.
    • All data underlying the findings described in this manuscript are available from the Open Science Framework at the following URL:, opens in a new window.
    • The dissertation was supported by a Doctoral Dissertation Research Improvement grant from the National Science Foundation (GR23141). The author was supported in part by an NSF Interdisciplinary Postdoctoral Fellowship (SES1228559) during the writing of this manuscript. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of NSF. The funder had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.

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    Neal, T.M.S. (2016). Are forensic experts already biased before adversarial legal parties hire them? PLoS ONE, 11, e0154434. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0154434.

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