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, 26 (5), 753-765
eCollection

Science or Pseudoscience? A Distinction That Matters for Police Officers, Lawyers and Judges

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Science or Pseudoscience? A Distinction That Matters for Police Officers, Lawyers and Judges

Louise Marie Jupe et al. Psychiatr Psychol Law.

Abstract

Scientific knowledge has been a significant contributor to the development of better practices within law enforcement agencies. However, some alleged 'experts' have been shown to have disseminated information to police officers, lawyers and judges that is neither empirically tested nor supported by scientific theory. The aim of this article is to provide organisations within the justice system with an overview of a) what science is and is not; b) what constitutes an empirically driven, theoretically founded, peer-reviewed approach; and c) how to distinguish science from pseudoscience. Using examples in relation to non-verbal communication, this article aims to demonstrate that not all information which is presented as comprehensively evaluated is methodologically reliable for use in the justice system.

Keywords: investigative interviews; justice system; non-verbal communication; pseudoscience; trials.

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