Expert Witnesses, Dissociative Amnesia, and Extraordinary Remembering: Response to Brand et al.

  • Lawrence PatihisEmail author
  • Henry Otgaar
  • Harald Merckelbach

Extraordinary Claims Require Extraordinary Evidence

Carl Sagan

In Merckelbach and Patihis (2018), we critically evaluated the attempts of Brand, Schielke, & Brams, 2017, Brand, Schielke, Brams, & DiComo, 2017) to provide advice to expert witnesses who assist triers of fact in understanding dissociative reactions. One point of departure was the broadly felt consensus in the forensic field that expert witnesses should be transparent about their limits (e.g., Edmond et al., 2017). Over the past years, the focus on limits and error rates of experts has gained momentum because empirical data suggest that overconfidence of expert witnesses may contribute to miscarriages of justice (e.g., Saks & Koehler, 2005; Imwinkelried, 2018). As a discipline, psychology is not exactly known for its error-free predictions. Quite the opposite is true: on the whole, clinical psychologists attain relatively modest levels of consistency and consensus, which are two important parameters of professional...


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Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of PsychologyUniversity of Southern MississippiHattiesburgUSA
  2. 2.Forensic Psychology, Department of Clinical Psychological Science, Faculty of Psychology and NeuroscienceMaastricht UniversityMaastrichtThe Netherlands
  3. 3.Catholic University of Leuven, Faculty of LawLeuvenBelgium

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