Category Archives: Professional Psychology

Error and bias in forensic behavioral science

A cri­sis is brew­ing in sci­en­tific psy­chol­ogy and foren­sic sci­ence. This con­cerns the over­all reli­a­bil­ity of all psy­cho­log­i­cal sci­ence (more on this later) and the qual­ity of expert evi­dence and tes­ti­mony in courts of law, regard­less of the expert’s dis­ci­pline (yes, even includ­ing the sup­pos­edly hard stuff, like DNA analy­sis). The con­sen­sus: alarm­ingly poor. This […]

Bias, cognitive heuristics, and forensic decision-making

The cumu­la­tive weight of 30 years of research orig­i­nat­ing in Tversky and Kaheman’s sem­i­nal 1974 descrip­tion of the men­tal short­cuts humans use when con­fronting cog­ni­tive ambi­gu­ity com­plex­ity, and Kahneman’s recent mas­ter­piece Thinking Fast, and Slow (2011, cf. Gilovich, Griffin, & Kahneman, 2002) has cre­ated a mature cog­ni­tive sci­ence of foren­sic decision-making. The find­ings are not […]

Forensic Psychology is Forensic Science.

There has been a grow­ing aware­ness, some would say cri­sis, con­cern­ing the mediocre qual­ity of expert foren­sic tes­ti­mony sub­mit­ted to the courts in the United States. This appears to be a func­tion of weak meth­ods, and a low thresh­old for judi­cial gate­keep­ing, despite clear man­dates in Rule 702 and Daubert and prog­eny on the foundations […]

The new Specialty Guidelines for Forensic Psychology (APA, 2011)

The new SGFP have been final­ized by APLS (Div. 41 of APA). The Guidelines are avail­able at the fol­low­ing link The SGFP pro­vide guid­ance and stan­dards of prac­tice for foren­sic psy­chol­o­gists. They are worth care­ful study for the prac­ti­tioner wish­ing to do sound and eth­i­cal, i.e., high qual­ity, foren­sic work. The SGFP define the scope of […]

Forensic Clinician’s Toolbox I — CST Instruments published in Journal of Personality Assessment

My recent review in JPA got a nice boost from Ken Pope and Karen Franklin. Many thanks. A PDF copy of the arti­cle is avail­able online.

Forensic conundrum: Geriatric competency to stand trial evaluations

Does old age ren­der you incom­pe­tent? Incompetent elders have started show­ing up in increas­ing num­bers, in both civil (testamentary/contractual com­pe­tency, guardian­ship pro­ceed­ings) and crim­i­nal are­nas (com­pe­tency to stand trial). We have adopted what we con­sider a pow­er­ful new assess­ment approach to foren­sic neu­rocog­ni­tive assess­ments based on Pearson’s WAIS-IV-WMS-IV-ACS combo and started look­ing at the data. Table A.2 […]

Clinical Report: Identification and Evaluation of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders

This superb arti­cle sums up the infor­ma­tion com­pre­hen­sively. Available at the American Academy of Pediatrics web­site in pdf.

Assessment Psychology: A fast evolving discipline and speciality.

The appli­ca­tion of psy­cho­log­i­cal and neu­ropsy­cho­log­i­cal test­ing to human prob­lems is a science-based dis­ci­pline which has exploded with the devel­op­ment of new knowl­edge, tools, tech­niques, and skills. Recognizing these devel­op­ments, the American Psychological Association rec­og­nizes three lev­els of com­pe­tence in pro­fes­sional psy­chol­ogy: gen­er­al­ist, pro­fi­ciency, and spe­cialty. Generalist train­ing would be con­sis­tent with a doc­tor­ate and […]

Is your psychological assessment specialist qualified?

Typically, assess­ment prob­lems are high stakes sit­u­a­tions, involv­ing some crit­i­cal life issue. Although many psy­chol­o­gists offer assess­ment ser­vices, most do not obtain advanced post-doctoral train­ing in assess­ment psy­chol­ogy. Those who have achieved advanced skill will be rec­og­nized by doc­u­mented recog­ni­tion. This would include board-certification by the American Board of Professional Psychology, American Board of Assessment […]

From Listserv to Blog

As the date of my last post will attest, I have been neg­li­gent in putting up new stuff. I have signed off the HPA list­serv. It is not a suit­able forum in any case, peo­ple seem to be initim­i­dated about express­ing their opin­ions in pub­lic, polit­i­cal sen­si­bil­i­ties get offended, and post­ing on the list­serve diverts […]