Social science evidence in the courtroom: Daubert and Beyond?

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Recent Supreme Court decisions suggest that judges should conduct a gatekeeping inquiry before admitting testimony that is based on psychology or other social sciences. Perspectives from other areas of applied social research may be of use to psychologists and others as they consider these decisions by the Court. A view of research as "assisted sensemaking" highlights (a) the importance of better understanding the capacities and limits of the natural sensemaking of jurors, (b) reasons why the gatekeeping function is appropriate, and (c) possible ways in which researchers can better serve the courts as they deal with the implications of gatekeeping. The possible impact of different types of expert testimony and the potential development of nonadversarial support mechanisms are also discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)175-193
Number of pages19
JournalPsychology, Public Policy, and Law
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1999

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Law


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