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Decision making and examiner bias in forensic expert recommendations for not guilty by reason of insanity


Source of nomination (prosecution, defense, judge) was varied in a fictional not guilty by reason of insanity (NGRI) case distributed to 180 community forensic evaluators in a state employing theM'Naghten rule. Differences among examiners by appointment for the final NGRI judgment was not significant; interrater reliability for psychopathological symptomatology was .73. Discriminant analysis revealed significant differences in the decision-making process between evaluators recommending sanity and those endorsing insanity, as well as between psychiatrists and psychologists.

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Correspondence to Jean C. Beckham.

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Beckham, J.C., Annis, L.V. & Gustafson, D.J. Decision making and examiner bias in forensic expert recommendations for not guilty by reason of insanity. Law Hum Behav 13, 79–87 (1989).

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  • Decision Making
  • Social Psychology
  • Discriminant Analysis
  • Interrater Reliability
  • Expert Recommendation