Expert Decision Making: Biases in Psychiatric and Forensic Evaluations

Human judgments are full of biases. Even expert judgment and decision making —often regarded as objective and impartial— are tainted by biases. Psychiatric and forensic judgments 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 cognitive 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. A recent piece in Science about these issues can be accessed at: