Pseudoscience and questionable science are largely neglected problems in police and other law enforcement work. In this primer, the authors delineate the key differences between science and pseudoscience, presenting 10 probabilistic indicators or warning signs, such as lack of falsifiability, absence of safeguards against confirmation bias, and lack of self-correction, that can help consumers of the police literature to distinguish scientific from pseudoscientific claims. Each of these warning signs is illustrated with an example from law enforcement. By attending to the differences between scientific and pseudoscientific assertions, police officers and other law enforcement officials can minimize their risk of errors and make better real-world decisions.
Criminal Justice and Behavior – SAGE
Published: Oct 1, 2008
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