Forensic psychologists are in the business of providing well-educated and scientifically-informed opinions to assist with legal and administrative processes, but it is well-established that the quality of such opinions varies and that biasing influences can skew forensic psychological opinions. For example, real-world expert assessments of of psychopathy on the Psychopathy Checklist - Revised (PCL-R) have been found to vary according to whether the defense or prosecution requested the evaluation, to a much greater extent than would be expected based on the inherent error built into the test. However, ethical providers should perform the same evaluation, regardless of who commissioned it. Well-formed forensic psychological opinions should follow logically from basic psychological principles and forensic research. They should represent the body of mainstream psychological literature rather than seeking out anomalous findings to support a particular point. As the U.S. Supreme Court noted in General Electric Co. v. Joiner (1997), ipse dixit ("because I said so") testimony is inherently problematic.
If you have concerns about the quality or potential bias of forensic psychological opinions posited by an expert in one of your cases, Hudson Forensic will gladly offer you a free case consultation. We will discuss the case with you or even read over the other expert's report and provide preliminary feedback concerning the quality of the work and possible approaches to resolving any shortcomings that might be identified.