Matching Items (4)

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The Cognitive and Social Psychological Bases of Bias in Forensic Mental Health Judgments

Description

This chapter integrates from cognitive neuroscience, cognitive psychology, and social psychology the basic science of bias in human judgment as relevant to judgments and decisions by forensic mental health professionals.

This chapter integrates from cognitive neuroscience, cognitive psychology, and social psychology the basic science of bias in human judgment as relevant to judgments and decisions by forensic mental health professionals. Forensic mental health professionals help courts make decisions in cases when some question of psychology pertains to the legal issue, such as in insanity cases, child custody hearings, and psychological injuries in civil suits. The legal system itself and many people involved, such as jurors, assume mental health experts are “objective” and untainted by bias. However, basic psychological science from several branches of the discipline suggest the law’s assumption about experts’ protection from bias is wrong. Indeed, several empirical studies now show clear evidence of (unintentional) bias in forensic mental health experts’ judgments and decisions. In this chapter, we explain the science of how and why human judgments are susceptible to various kinds of bias. We describe dual-process theories from cognitive neuroscience, cognitive psychology, and social psychology that can help explain these biases. We review the empirical evidence to date specifically about cognitive and social psychological biases in forensic mental health judgments, weaving in related literature about biases in other types of expert judgment, with hypotheses about how forensic experts are likely affected by these biases. We close with a discussion of directions for future research and practice.

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  • 2017-04-30

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The Cognitive Underpinnings of Bias in Forensic Mental Health Evaluations.

Description

We integrate multiple domains of psychological science to identify, better understand, and manage the effects of subtle but powerful biases in forensic mental health assessment. This topic is ripe for

We integrate multiple domains of psychological science to identify, better understand, and manage the effects of subtle but powerful biases in forensic mental health assessment. This topic is ripe for discussion, as research evidence that challenges our objectivity and credibility garners increased attention both within and outside of psychology. We begin by defining bias and provide rich examples from the judgment and decision making literature as they might apply to forensic assessment tasks. The cognitive biases we review can help us explain common problems in interpretation and judgment that confront forensic examiners. This leads us to ask (and attempt to answer) how we might use what we know about bias in forensic clinicians’ judgment to reduce its negative effects.

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Date Created
  • 2014-05

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Assessment Practices and Expert Judgment Methods in Forensic Psychology and Psychiatry: An International Snapshot

Description

We conducted an international survey in which forensic examiners who were members of professional associations described their two most recent forensic evaluations (N=434 experts, 868 cases), focusing on the use

We conducted an international survey in which forensic examiners who were members of professional associations described their two most recent forensic evaluations (N=434 experts, 868 cases), focusing on the use of structured assessment tools to aid expert judgment. This study describes:

1. The relative frequency of various forensic referrals.
2. What tools are used globally.
3. Frequency and type of structured tools used.
4. Practitioners’ rationales for using/not using tools.

We provide general descriptive information for various referrals. We found most evaluations used tools (74.2%) and used several (on average 4). We noted the extreme variety in tools used (286 different tools). We discuss the implications of these findings and provide suggestions for improving the reliability and validity of forensic expert judgment methods. We conclude with a call for an assessment approach that seeks structured decision methods to advance greater efficiency in the use and integration of case-relevant information.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2014-09-25

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Baseball's Sight-Audition Farness Effect (Safe) when umpiring baserunners: competing visual and auditory cues

Description

In baseball, the difference between a win and loss can come down to a single call, such as when an umpire judges force outs at first base by typically comparing

In baseball, the difference between a win and loss can come down to a single call, such as when an umpire judges force outs at first base by typically comparing competing auditory and visual inputs of the ball-mitt sound and the foot-on-base sight. Yet, because the speed of sound in air only travels about 1100 feet per second, fans observing from several hundred feet away will receive auditory cues that are delayed a significant portion of a second, and thus conceivably could systematically differ in judgments compared to the nearby umpire. The current research examines two questions. 1. How reliably and with what biases do observers judge the order of visual versus auditory events? 2. Do observers making such order judgments from far away systematically compensate for delays due to the slow speed of sound? It is hypothesized that if any temporal bias occurs it is in the direction consistent with observers not accounting for the sound delay, such that increasing viewing distance will increase the bias to assume the sound occurred later. It was found that nearby observers are relatively accurate at judging if a sound occurred before or after a simple visual event (a flash), but exhibit a systematic bias to favor visual stimuli occurring first (by about 30 msec). In contrast, distant observers did not compensate for the delay of the speed of sound such that they systematically favored the visual cue occurring earlier as a function of viewing distance. When observers judged simple visual stimuli in motion relative to the same sound burst, the distance effect occurred as a function of the visual clarity of the ball arriving. In the baseball setting, using a large screen projection of baserunner, a diminished distance effect occurred due to the additional visual cues. In summary, observers generally do not account for the delay of sound due to distance.

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Date Created
  • 2017