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Forensic psychologists’ perceptions of bias and potential correction strategies in forensic mental health evaluations.


Abstract A qualitative study with 20 board-certified forensic psychologists was followed up by a mail survey of 351 forensic psychologists in this mixed-methods investigation of examiner bias awareness and strategies used to debias forensic judgments. Rich qualitative data emerged about awareness of bias, specific biasing situations that recur in forensic evaluations, and potential debiasing strategies. The continuum of bias awareness in forensic evaluators mapped cogently onto the “stages of change” model. Evaluators perceived themselves as less vulnerable to bias than their colleagues, consistent with the phenomenon called the “bias blind spot.” Recurring situations that posed challenges for forensic clinicians included disliking or feeling sympat... (more)
Created Date 2016-02
Contributor Neal, Tess M.S. / Brodsky, Stanley L.
Subject bias / forensic / expert judgment / decision making / mixed methods / qualitative
Type Text
Language English
Identifier DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/law0000077
Rights All Rights Reserved
Citation Neal, T.M.S. & Brodsky, S.L. (2016). Forensic psychologists’ perceptions of bias and potential correction strategies in forensic mental health evaluations. Psychology, Public Policy, and Law, 22, 58-76. doi: 10.1037/law0000077
Note This research was conducted as part of the first author’s doctoral dissertation under the mentorship of the second author. The dissertation was supported by a Doctoral Dissertation Research Improvement grant from the National Science Foundation (SES23141). The first 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.
Note Portions of these results were presented at the 2011 annual conference of the Association for Psychological Science in Washington, DC, the 2012 annual conference of the American Psychology-Law Society in San Juan, Puerto Rico, and the 2014 annual conference of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology in Austin TX.
Note Special thanks are owed to Jacklyn E. Nagle, Philip J. Neal, and Mary Beth Hubbard at The University of Alabama for their help transcribing the interviews and analyzing the qualitative data. We are grateful to the psychologists who participated for their time, effort, and feedback.
Collaborating Institutions New College of Interdisciplinary Arts & Sciences
Additional Formats MODS / OAI Dublin Core / RIS


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