For this discussion, pretend you have been hired to provide testimony on an unsettled and/or controversial area of scientific research. Discuss what you would do to prepare yourself for court and how you would present the research that has been conducted.

There are a number of research topics where forensic consultants may not be able to provide definitive answers. The chapters you read provide examples of areas where there is at least some controversy over either the topic itself or the research findings.

For this discussion, pretend you have been hired to provide testimony on an unsettled and/or controversial area of scientific research. Discuss what you would do to prepare yourself for court and how you would present the research that has been conducted.

What ethical concerns are raised when discussing unsettled science? What pitfalls might you, as the forensic consultant, expect to face in court? How do you determine if these scientific findings meet, at a minimum, the criteria for FRE 702?

Reading and Resources (if needed)

Textbook: Psychological Science in the Courtroom: Consensus and Controversy, Chapter 4

This reading discusses the current state of using hypnosis in forensic examinations.

Textbook: Beyond Common Sense: Psychological Science in the Courtroom, Chapter 11, 12, 13, and 17

These chapters discuss polygraph testing, the role of social sciences in evolving standards, pretrial publicity, and sex discrimination and harassment.

Video: Exploring the Mind of a Killer (6:32) (Optional)

This is a fascinating TED Talk on the genetics of psychopathy.

Website: APA Amicus Briefs by Issue (Optional)

This site provides one-page summaries of amicus briefs filed by the APA, by issue.

Website: Controversies in Forensic Psychology (Optional)

This website has a series of short articles and reference lists for controversial areas in forensic psychology.

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