Study Program Essay

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Forensic psychology has made unique contributions to risk assessment with respect to the potential for violence and dangerousness, the accuracy of eye witness testimony, the dimensions and assessment of legal competency According to Krauss, Liberman, & Olson, the Texas dealth penalty case Barefoot v. Estelle showed that jurors are more influenced by less scientific clinical expert testimony, and less influenced by more scientific actuarial expert testimony. By applying cognitive-experiential self-theory (CEST) to juror decision-making, the present study was undertaken in an attempt to offer a theoretical rationale for the findings (Krauss, Liberman, & Olson, 2004). Based on past CEST research, 163 mock jurors were either directed into a…show more content…
Juror bias against this form of testimony could lead to unjust outcomes for defendants when more scientifically valid guided professional judgment expert testimony is weighed less heavily by jurors than less accurate clinical expert testimony. Although the goal of this study was to misrepresent processing mode in order to better understand when participants would apply different types of expert testimony, it is possible that courts or attorneys might want to inspire jurors to embrace experiential or rational processing modes. The results of this study are consistent with those that would have been predicted by CEST. According to the article jurors who received an experiential mode manipulation found the clinical expert testimony more significant in their decisions than the other two types of expert testimony presented while jurors who received a rational model manipulation found the actuarial expert testimony more powerful than other types of expert testimony (Krauss, Liberman, & Olson, 2004). Although this testimony’s poor performance in one study of mock jurors is not sufficient grounds for large scale concern, it is troubling that this testimony performed so poorly in equivalence with other types of expert testimony utilized (Krauss, Liberman, & Olson). Forensic psychologists are not allowed to testify on the
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