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Psychologists and the Judicial System: Broader Perspectives

Donald N. Bersoff
Law and Human Behavior
Vol. 10, No. 1/2, The Ethics of Expert Testimony (Jun., 1986), pp. 151-165
Published by: Springer
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1393513
Page Count: 15
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Psychologists and the Judicial System: Broader Perspectives
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Abstract

This article traces the rise, fall, and current ambivalence in the use of social science data and psychological experts by the legal system. Several reasons are discussed for the less than perfect "marriage" between psychology and the law: normative philosophy of constitutional adjudication; overriding principles of the rules of evidence; irrelevancy to the courts of much of social science research; seduction of psychologists by attorneys who persuade experts to testify as advocates for a particular position rather than as objective scientists. These problems are placed in a legal and ethical framework and suggestions for remediation of these problems are offered.

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