Category Archives: Professional Psychology

Shoddy Reliability of Forensic Evidence II: Systematic bias and judgment errors in forensic mental health evaluations

A new study hot off the press addresses “typical judgment errors” in forensic mental health reports (Iudici, Salvini, Faccio, & Castelnuovo (2015).The Clinical Assessment in the Legal Field: An Empirical Study of Bias and Limitations in Forensic Expertise, Frontiers in Psychology, 6, 1831. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2015.01831). Content analyses of forensic mental health evaluations revealed distortions in […]

APA Torture Investigation Final Report

Attached in PDF and shown below is the complete text of the REPORT TO THE SPECIAL COMMITTEE OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS OF THE AMERICAN PSYCHOLOGICAL ASSOCIATION: INDEPENDENT REVIEW RELATING TO APA ETHICS GUIDELINES, NATIONAL SECURITY INTERROGATIONS, AND TORTURE, dated July 2, 2015.  

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 http://goo.gl/usU0 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 […]

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. http://tinyurl.com/cy4kbq6

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 […]