skip navigation


Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.


NCJ Number: 70740 Find in a Library
Title: Psychologist as Expert Witness (From Psychology, Law and Legal Processes, P 44-53, 1979, by D P Farrington, et al - See NCJ - 70738)
Author(s): L R C Haward
Date Published: 1979
Page Count: 10
Sponsoring Agency: Humanities Press, Inc.
Atlantic Highlands, NJ 07716
Sale Source: Humanities Press, Inc.
17 First Avenue
Atlantic Highlands, NJ 07716
United States of America
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: The roles of the forensic psychologist as expert witness are discussed.
Abstract: The roles of the forensic psychologist as expert witness are as experimental psychologist, actuary, and medical witness. In the first of these roles, the experimentalist can offer evidence in three ways. He/she can comment on experimental data from the general body of psychological knowledge, provide evidence from his/her own laboratory studies, or report on field studies he/she has conducted in relation to the case at issue. In the role of actuary, the psychologist can provide the court with data which gives the probability of a particular event or circumstance happening or the mean value of something. The psychologist as actuary is basing calculations on all the relevant observations made by psychologists through the years, but in particular cases, he/she may go into the field for observations. Probability statments, however, are used less in court than in helping the police to decide whether to pursue a particular line of investigation. In the role of medical witness, the psychologist may provide supplementary or complementary evidence bearing upon other medical evidence (for example, to the neurologist in compensation cases, or to the psychiatrist in criminal cases), or provide independent evidence. In civil cases, the forensic psychologist is most often concerned with compensation cases. The psychologist also may function in the court of chancery when an appellant is trying to gain freedom from the court of protection. The psychologist may be asked to testify about the appellant's ability to handle his/her own affairs. Other legal contexts where the psychologist may contribute medical evidence are mental health tribunals, divorce proceedings, and criminal trials, where the psychologist may be concerned with the application of M'Naghten rules and the legal concept of diminished responsibility. Notes and seven references are provided. For related documents, see NCJ 70739 and 70741-48.
Index Term(s): Expert witnesses; Psychology; Testimony
To cite this abstract, use the following link:

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.