Psychological Science in the Courtroom: Consensus and Controversy

Psychological Science in the Courtroom: Consensus and Controversy

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This rigorous yet reader-friendly book reviews the state of the science on a broad range of psychological issues commonly encountered in the forensic context. The goal is to help professionals and students differentiate between supported and unsupported psychological techniques--and steer clear of those that may be misleading or legally inadmissible. Leading contributors focus on controversial issues surrounding recovered memories, projective techniques, lie detection, child witnesses, offender rehabilitation, psychopathy, violence risk assessment, and more. With a focus on real-world legal situations, the book offers guidelines for presenting scientific evidence accurately and effectively in courtroom testimony and written reports.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781606232514
Publisher: Guilford Publications, Inc.
Publication date: 05/08/2009
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 418
Product dimensions: 6.40(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.40(d)

About the Author

Jennifer L. Skeem, PhD, is Associate Professor of Psychology and Social Behavior at the University of California, Irvine, where she is also a member of the MacArthur Research Network on Mandated Community Treatment, the Center for Psychology and Law, and the Center for Evidence-Based Corrections. Dr. Skeem conducts research on such topics as psychopathic personality disorder, violence risks, and psychiatric treatment outcomes of offenders. She is a recipient of the Saleem Shah Award for Early Career Excellence in Psychology and Law, awarded jointly by the American Psychology-Law Society (Division 41 of the American Psychological Association) and the American Academy of Forensic Psychology.


Kevin S. Douglas, LLB, PhD, is Associate Professor and Coordinator of the Law and Forensic Psychology Program in the Department of Psychology, Simon Fraser University, Canada. He conducts research on forensic assessment and violence, with a specific focus on violence risk assessment. Dr. Douglas is a Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research Career Scholar and a recipient of the Saleem Shah Award for Early Career Excellence in Psychology and Law.


Scott O. Lilienfeld, PhD, is Professor of Psychology at Emory University. His research focuses on the causes of personality disorders, particularly psychopathic personality; psychiatric classification and diagnosis; and evidence-based practice in clinical psychology. Dr. Lilienfeld is a fellow of the American Psychological Society and a recipient of the David Shakow Early Career Award from Division 12 (Clinical Psychology) of the American Psychological Association. He is editor of the Scientific Review of Mental Health Practice.

Table of Contents

I. Psychological Science and Its Application in Courts of Law

1. Standards of Legal Admissibility and Their Implications for Psychological Sciences, David L. Faigman and John Monahan

2. Daubert and Psychological Science in Court: Judging Validity from the Bench, Bar, and Jury Box, Bradley D. McAuliff and Jennifer L. Groscup

II. Memory and Suggestibility

3. The Scientific Status of "Repressed" and "Recovered" Memories of Sexual Abuse, Deborah Davis and Elizabeth F. Loftus

4. Forensic Hypnosis: The State of the Science, Steven Jay Lynn, Elza Boycheva, Amanda Deming, Scott O. Lilienfeld, and Michael N. Hallquist

5. Expert Testimony Regarding Eyewitness Identification, Brian L. Cutler and Gary L. Wells

6. Techniques and Controversies in the Interrogation of Suspects: The Artful Practice versus the Scientific Study, Allison D. Redlich and Christian A. Meissner

7. Reliability of Child Witnesses' Reports, Maggie Bruck and Stephen J. Ceci

III. Specific Tests and Techniques

8. The Psychopathy Checklist in the Courtroom: Consensus and Controversies, John F. Edens, Jennifer L. Skeem, and Patrick J. Kennealy

9. Projective Techniques in the Courtroom, James M. Wood, M. Teresa Nezworski, Scott O. Lilienfeld, and Howard N. Garb

10. Psychophysiological Detection of Deception and Guilty Knowledge, William G. Iacono

IV. Forensic Evaluation of Psycholegal Issues

11. Criminal Profiling: Facts, Fictions, and Courtroom Admissibility, Richard N. Kocsis

12. The Science and Pseudoscience of Assessing Psychological Injuries, William J. Koch, Rami Nader, and Michelle Haring

13. Controversies in Child Custody Evaluation, William T. O'Donohue, Kendra Beitz, and Lauren Tolle

14. Controversies in Evaluating Competency to Stand Trial, Norman G. Poythress and Patricia A. Zapf

V. Courtroom Sentencing: Risk and Rehabilitation

15. Violence Risk Assessment: Core Controversies, Kirk Heilbrun, Kevin S. Douglas, and Kento Yasuhara

16. Appropriate Treatment Works, But How?: Rehabilitating General, Psychopathic, and High-Risk Offenders, Jennifer L. Skeem, Devon L. L. Polaschek, and Sarah Manchak

VI. Concluding Thoughts and Future Directions

17. Finding Common Ground between Scientific Psychology and the Law, John P. Petrila


Psychologists and psychiatrists working in the courts; other mental health professionals who may be called to serve as expert witnesses; students in forensic psychology and psychiatry. Also of interest to legal professionals. May serve as a text in graduate-level courses in forensic assessment, psychology and law, and related topics.

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