Law and Human Behavior

, Volume 11, Issue 2, pp 157–163

Procedural bias in forensic science examinations of human hair


  • Larry S. Miller
    • Department of Criminal JusticeEast Tennessee State University

DOI: 10.1007/BF01040448

Cite this article as:
Miller, L.S. Law Hum Behav (1987) 11: 157. doi:10.1007/BF01040448


Several forms of expert forensic science evaluations exist that rely at least in part on the subjective opinion of the examiner. Human hair identification is one such examination. This paper considers possible sources of influence or bias that may be responsible for examiner errors. Data are reported of an experiment that compares the conventional examination procedure (known versus questioned samples) against an alternative procedure (a lineup of samples) designed to limit the influence of factors that contribute to error. The altenative procedure produced fewer incorrect conclusions (3.8%) than the conventional procedure (30.4%).

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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1987