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Most trial judges understand that psychiatry and psychology aspire to, and sometimes achieve, the standards of hard science. Amid a climate of case demands and research initiatives, many frontiers spark sincere disagreement in how data are to be interpreted. This is not unlike the controversies of established medicine — for example, the assessment of signs of sexual assault or a shaken baby, among others. Apart from differences in perspective, forensic psychiatrists and psychologists reach different opinions for principally two reasons: because one examiner is relying upon more data to inform an opinion, or because bias has affected one or both of the forensic psychiatrists’ or psychologists’ work. See Robert A. Nicholson & Steve Norwood, “The Quality of Forensic Psychological Assessments, Reports, and Testimony: Acknowledging the Gap Between Promise and Practice,” 24 Law & Hum. Behav. 1 (2000); David E. Bernstein, “Expert Witnesses, Adversarial Bias and the (Partial) Failure of the Dau­bert Revolution,” 93 Iowa L. Rev. (2008).

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