Saturday, September 21, 2019

Forensic Clinicians' Understanding of Bias (MacLean et al., 2019)


Abstract

Bias, or systematic influences that create errors in judgment, can affect psychological evaluations in ways that lead to erroneous diagnoses and opinions. Although these errors can have especially serious consequences in the criminal justice system, little research has addressed forensic psychologists' awareness of well-known cognitive biases and debiasing strategies. We conducted a national survey with a sample of 120 randomly selected licensed psychologists with forensic interests to examine (a) their familiarity with and understanding of cognitive biases, (b) their self-reported strategies to mitigate bias, and (c) the relation of a and b to psychologists' cognitive reflection abilities. Most psychologists reported familiarity with well-known biases and distinguished these from sham biases and reported using research-identified strategies but not fictional or sham strategies. However, some psychologists reported little familiarity with actual biases, endorsed sham biases as real, failed to recognize effective bias mitigation strategies, and endorsed ineffective bias mitigation strategies. Furthermore, nearly everyone endorsed introspection (a strategy known to be ineffective) as an effective bias mitigation strategy. Cognitive reflection abilities were systematically related to error, such that stronger cognitive reflection was associated with less endorsement of sham biases.

Keywords: bias, forensic evaluation, survey, cognitive reflection

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Digit Span Subscale Scores May Be Insufficiently Reliable for Clinical Interpretation: Distinguishing Between Stratified Coefficient Alpha and Omega Hierarchical - Gilles E. Gignac, Matthew R. Reynolds, Kristof Kovacs, 2019



Digit Span Subscale Scores May Be Insufficiently Reliable for Clinical Interpretation: Distinguishing Between Stratified Coefficient Alpha and Omega Hierarchical - Gilles E. Gignac, Matthew R. Reynolds, Kristof Kovacs, 2019
https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/1073191117748396

Sent from Flipboard


******************************************************
Kevin McGrew, PhD
Educational Psychologist
Director, Institute for Applied Psychometrics
IAP
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Thursday, August 29, 2019

Reasonable Accommodations for Meeting the Unique Needs of Defendants with Intellectual Disability | Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law

http://jaapl.org/content/47/3/310


******************************************************
Kevin McGrew, PhD
Educational Psychologist
Director, Institute for Applied Psychometrics
IAP
www.themindhub.com
******************************************************

Adjudicative Competence and the Criminalization of Intellectual Disability | Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law

http://jaapl.org/content/47/3/321


******************************************************
Kevin McGrew, PhD
Educational Psychologist
Director, Institute for Applied Psychometrics
IAP
www.themindhub.com
******************************************************

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Saturday, July 27, 2019

Declines in vocabulary among American adults within levels of educational attainment, 1974–2016 - ScienceDirect

File under Flynn effect related research

Abstract

We examined trends over time in vocabulary, a key component of verbal intelligence, in the nationally representative General Social Survey of U.S. adults (n = 29,912). Participants answered multiple-choice questions about the definitions of 10 specific words. When controlled for educational attainment, the vocabulary of the average U.S. adult declined between the mid-1970s and the 2010s. Vocabulary declined across all levels of educational attainment (less than high school, high school or 2-year college graduate, bachelor's or graduate degree), with the largest declines among those with a bachelor's or graduate degree. Hierarchical linear modeling analyses separating the effects of age, time period, and cohort suggest that the decline is primarily a time period effect. Increasing educational attainment has apparently not improved verbal ability among Americans. Instead, as educational attainment has increased, those at each educational level are less verbally skilled even though the vocabulary skills of the whole population are unchanged.

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0160289618302198



Friday, July 5, 2019

Sunday, June 9, 2019

Communication and cross-examination in court for children and adults with intellectual disabilities: A systematic review - Joanne Morrison, Rachel Forrester-Jones, Jill Bradshaw, Glynis Murphy, 2019


Courts in England, Wales and Northern Ireland have identified children and adults with intellectual disabilities (ID) as vulnerable witnesses. The call from the English Court of Appeal is for advocates to adjust questioning during cross-examination according to individual needs. This review systematically examined previous empirical studies with the aim of delineating the particular communication needs of children and adults with ID during cross-examination. Studies utilising experimental methodology similar to examination/cross-examination processes, or which assessed the communication of actual cross-examinations in court were included. A range of communication challenges were highlighted, including: suggestibility to leading questions and negative feedback; acquiescence; accuracy; memory and understanding of court language. In addition, a number of influencing factors were identified, including: age; IQ level; question styles used. This review highlights the need for further research using cross-examination methodology and live practice, that take into consideration the impact on communication of the unique environment and situation of the cross-examination process.


Monday, May 27, 2019

Atkins court decisions: Busby v Davis (TX) and Smith v Alabama



FYI--two recent Atkins related decisions

Busby v Davis (TX: 2019)

Smith v Alabama (2019)

Texas ID death penalty update: Death Penalty Reform Bill Gets Watered Down to ‘Nothing’ Before Passing Senate After passing the House.


Death Penalty Reform Bill Gets Watered Down to ‘Nothing’ Before Passing Senate

After passing the House, HB 1139, meant to reform how Texas decides whether a defendant is too intellectually disabled to execute, was significantly softened in Senate committee.  Story at this link. 

Thursday, April 25, 2019

The mysterious disappearance of blogmaster of IQs Corner

My regular readers have noticed that I have not posted anything to my three blogs since last thanksgiving.  Why?

Well..I came down with a serious illness and spent 82 days in the hospital, 72 of which were at the world renowned Mayo Clinic in Rochester MN.  I have since returned home and am doing OT and PT rehab....that is now my full time job.  

I want to thank all who learned of my experience and sent kind words of support.  I shall return.

If you want more details you can check out the Caring Bridge log my lovely wife maintained.

https://www.caringbridge.org/visit/kevinmcgrewiq



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***********************************************
Kevin S. McGrew,  PhD
Educational Psychologist
Director
Institute for Applied Psychometrics (IAP)
www.themindhub.com
************************************************

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Shriver op-ed on Moore v Texas continuing saga with SCOTUS

The LA Times published an excellent op-ed that explains, in simple understandable language, the issues and reasoning behind the recent legal saga of Moore v Texas.  A pdf copy is available here.

Here is link to the latest blog post that can lead you through the past and recent decisions in this case.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Atkins decisions: More on Moore v TX (2018). ABA files brief on behalf of Moore - UPDATED 11-20-18 to include APA amicus brief







Interesting turn of events re: Moore v. Texas. ABA story here.

The AG’s motion can be found here. The ABA amicus brief can be found here.

The trail of prior documents and decision can be found starting here.

11-20-18 UPDATE.  I previously did not have a copy of the APA amicus brief. A copy is now available here.


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Friday, November 9, 2018

Law Review Article: Intellectual Disability in Capital Cases: Adjusting State Statutes After Moore v. Texas


Another new Atkins related law review article available here.


ABSTRACT

In Atkins v. Virginia (2002), the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the execution of intellectually disabled inmates violates the cruel and unusual punishment clause of the Eighth Amendment. Twelve years later in Hall v. Florida (2014), the Court revisited its Atkins decision to provide further clarification on how states should assess intellectual disability. This article examines Moore v. Texas (2017), the latest development in the Court's rulings on capital determinations of intellectual disability. It also reviews state statutes and court cases from the thirty-one death penalty states to determine how they comport with the Court's Moore ruling. These statutes and cases shed light on issues with respect to intellectual disability in capital trials that the Court has yet to address. The article concludes with model language to help states make their capital punishment protocols constitutional, so that the intellectually disabled remain free from execution.

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Research Byte: Flynn Effect in Kuwait, 1985-1998

This study will be added to the Flynn Effect Archive Project the next time it is update.






Law Review Article: Evaluating Intellectual Disability: Clinical Assessments in Atkins Cases (Ellis et al., 2018)




This new law review article is, IMHO, the best overview article regarding the history of ID, the legal issues in Atkins cases, and good discussion of the major conceptual and measurement issues found in many Atkins cases. An excellent introduction to ID issues in Atkins cases.

EVALUATING INTELLECTUAL DISABILITY: CLINICAL ASSESSMENTS IN ATKINS CASES

James W. Ellis, Caroline Everington, Ann M. Delpha

ABSTRACT

The intersection of intellectual disability and the death penalty is now clearly established. Both under the U.S. Supreme Court's constitutional decisions and under the terms of many state statutes, individual defendants who have that disability cannot be sentenced to death or executed. It now falls to trial, appellate, and post-conviction courts to determine which individual criminal defendants are entitled to the law's protection. This Article attempts to assist judges in performing that task. After a brief discussion of the Supreme Court's decisions in Atkins v. Virginia, Hall v. Florida, and Moore v. Texas, it analyzes the component parts and terminology of the clinical definition of intellectual disability. It then offers more detailed discussion of a number of the clinical issues that arise frequently in adjudicating these cases. For each of these issues, the Article's text and the accompanying notes attempt to provide judges with a thorough survey of the relevant clinical literature, and an explanation of the terminology used by clinical professionals. Our purpose is to help those judges to become more knowledgeable consumers of the clinical reports and expert testimony presented to them in individual cases, and to help them reach decisions that are consistent with what the clinical literature reveals about the nature of intellectual disability and best professional practices in the diagnostic process.

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Saturday, October 20, 2018

Law Review Article: Comment post-Moore: Call for national standard for ID def in capital cases

Article can be found here.



CONCLUSION

The Supreme Court's decision in Moore served as little more than a lackluster attempt to provide states with guidance in creating a standard for determining intellectual disability for the purposes of capital punish-ment. While the Court attempted to narrow the leniency it provided to states with its holdings in both Moore and Hall, it has likely done nothing more than cause confusion as states attempt to create legislation that ad-heres to the Court's mandates. The Court's refusal to provide states with a functional definition of intellectual disability in capital cases might seem merely frustrating at first glance, but it is also potentially unconstitu-tional-arguably violating both the Eighth Amendment and the equal pro-tection clause. What is more, as each state creates its own test for deter-mining intellectual disability, the states increase their risk of violating the Eighth Amendment's prohibition of cruel and unusual punishment. Thus, the Court should provide the states with a definition to avoid these pressing constitutional concerns.

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