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Forensic Sciences Blog





Forensic Sciences News Viewer

The City Law School: free talk

Published: Oct 15, 2014 1:45:21 PM

CFS Bulletin September 2014

Published: Sep 4, 2014 1:29:07 PM

Dr Itiel Dror receives ABP Award for "Excellence in Training"

Published: Jun 19, 2014 11:46:40 AM

Sherry Nakhaeizadeh

PhD Student


Address:
UCL Department of Security and Crime Science,
35 Tavistock Square, London,
WC1H 9EZ

Sherry Nakhaeizadeh

Current Research

The issues of cognitive bias and its potential effects in forensic science and in criminal investigations have been increasingly discussed, with empirical research demonstrating the existing effect of cognitive bias in decision making within numerous forensic fields. The complexity of data analysis and interpretation in forensic cases has been emphasised as one of the main issues in forensic science where cognitive biases may impact data collection, analysis, interpretation and conclusions. In many disciplines such as forensic anthropology the presence of bias, its impact, and how to mitigate its effects are still not fully assessed or appreciated. Due to the fact that issues regarding the admissibility of evidence and expert witness testimonies have been consistently raised in regards to the validation of methods used by forensic scientists, it is imperative that forensic disciplines scrutinise the potential effects and presence of bias, and take the necessary measures to minimise them. Questions such as how does cognition relate to forensic anthropology/forensic science, and how can it enhance forensic work needs to be evaluated.

This research will seek to understand the degree of bias in forensic anthropology and then in addition to other forensic disciplines where subjective interpretations may occur, and identify the means to avoid errors that might arise from interpretation issues within these fields. This project will undertaking experiments to test for bias empirically within forensic anthropological methods as well as other forensic disciplines using different manipulations to examine in greater complexity the stages in which bias is more prevalent, and when such factors affect performances and render forensic expert judgments compromised and equally when they do not.

The aim of the research is to aid in establishing an empirical evidence based approach for dealing with cognitive issues within the forensic field. In addition, this research will focus on the impact upon how to develop more valid, transparent and reliable techniques where decisions will be more robust and admissible in a court of law.

Publications

Nakhaeizadeh S, Hanson I, Dozzi N. (2014) The Power of Contextual Effects in Forensic Anthropology: A Study of Biasability in the Visual Interpretations of Trauma Analysis on Skeletal Remains. J Forensic Sci (in Press) 

S. Nakhaeizadeh, I.E. Dror, R.M. Morgan. Cognitive bias in forensic anthropology: Visual assessment of skeletal remains is susceptible to confirmation bias. Sci. Justice. (2013) (in press)

Conference Presentations

Conference Oral Presentation: S. Nakhaeizadeh, R.M. Morgan, I.E. Dror 2014. Cognitive bias in forensic anthropology: Visual assessment of skeletal remains is susceptible to confirmation bias. American Academy of Forensic Sciences Annual Meeting, 17 – 22 February 2014, Seattle, USA. 

Conference Poster Presentation: S. Nakhaeizadeh, I. Hanson, N. Dozzi 2013. The Power of Contextual Effects in Forensic Anthropology: A Study of Biasability in the Visual Interpretations of Trauma Analysis on Skeletal Remains. American Academy of Forensic Sciences Annual Meeting, 17 – 22 February 2013, Washington DC, USA. 

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