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NCJ Number: 220227 Find in a Library
Title: Study of Numeracy in Forensic Scientists
Journal: Journal of Forensic Identification  Volume:57  Issue:5  Dated:September/October 2007  Pages:672-680
Author(s): Max M. Houck
Date Published: September 2007
Page Count: 9
Type: Research (Applied/Empirical)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study examined the numeracy of forensic scientists, especially in their understanding of statistics and probabilities.
Abstract: The study showed that the forensic experts faired no better than other professions; in some ways, they did worse. Given the prevalence of statistics in the courtroom, a greater emphasis on enhancing numerical literacy teaching statistics may be necessary in the forensic sciences. Additional studies on the numeracy of forensic scientists are needed, especially as some of the disciplines begin addressing statistics for the first time. The necessity for understanding statistics and probabilities has been emphasized routinely in education, analysis, and practice. Developing a solid grounding in statistical methods is particularly important at the undergraduate level, although some evidence indicates it may be difficult to overcome students’ preconceived notions about numbers, frequencies, and statistics. The Forensic Science Educational Program Accreditation Commission (FEPAC) of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences requires at least one course in statistics for forensic science students at the undergraduate level. This study was conducted with forensic experts using standard tests of frequency assessment and number handling to judge their abilities to estimate problem solving capacities. Tables, references, appendix
Main Term(s): Forensic sciences
Index Term(s): Coroners; Expert witnesses; Forensic science training; Job analysis; Personnel evaluation; Personnel evaluation techniques; Scientific testimony
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