IAFMHS CONFERENCE MONTREAL 2019
JUN 25 - 27
The Pitfalls in Forensic Assessments
and How to Overcome Them
ITIEL DROR, PHD
University College London
Dr. Itiel Dror is a cognitive neuroscientist. Interested in the cognitive architecture that underpins expertise, he attained his Ph.D. from Harvard University in 1994. His academic work relates to theoretical issues underlying human performance and cognition. Dror's research examines the information processing involved in perception, judgment and decision-making. He has published over 100 research articles, and has been extensively cited in the American National Academy of Sciences Report on Forensic Science.
Dr. Dror has worked with the U.S. Air Force and in the medical domain, examining expert decision making and error. In the forensic domain he has demonstrated how contextual information can influence judgments and decision making of experts; he has shown that even fingerprint and DNA experts can reach different conclusions when the same evidence is presented within different extraneous contexts. Dr. Dror has worked with many US forensic laboratories (e.g., FBI, NYPD, LAPD, San Francisco PD) as well as in other countries (e.g., The UK, Netherlands, Finland, Canada, and Australia) in providing training and implementing cognitive best practices in evaluating forensic evidence. Dr. Dror was the Chair of the NIST forensic science human factor group, and is a member of the National Commission on Forensic Science human factor group.
JUNE 21, 2016
In many domains experts are called upon to provide research and analysis. Their expert judgment and decision making is often regarded as error-free, or at least as being objective and impartial. Drawing from the field of criminal justice, I will present research and evidence from real casework that many different types of psychological contaminations affect experts, including fingerprinting and DNA forensic laboratory decision making. Forensic evaluations are highly impacted (and can be distorted) by irrelevant contextual information or even by the context in which information is presented or obtained. I will articulate the psychological mechanisms by which forensic and other experts make biased and erroneous decisions and describe how this research can assist in identifying such weaknesses and in providing practical ways to mitigate them.