An experimental study of blind proficiency tests in forensic science

An experimental study of blind proficiency tests in forensic science We conducted a series of sender–receiver experiments to study the consequences of implementing a regime of blind proficiency tests in forensic science to reduce error rates and improve the criminal justice system. Senders are our surrogate for forensic laboratories and receivers, for the judge or jury. Our experimental surrogate (random audits with a penalty) for blind proficiency tests reduced sender error rates by as much as 46% depending on the level of experimentally induced bias. When penalties improve information quality, receiver error rates fell by as much as 26% depending on the level of the sender bias. We also find that the penalty must be large relative to the payoff to induce the reduction in errors. Our results suggest that a regime of blind proficiency testing has the potential to reduce forensic science errors. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The Review of Austrian Economics Springer Journals

An experimental study of blind proficiency tests in forensic science

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Publisher
Springer Journals
Copyright
Copyright © 2010 by Springer Science+Business Media, LLC
Subject
Economics; Public Finance; Political Science; History of Economic Thought/Methodology
ISSN
0889-3047
eISSN
1573-7128
D.O.I.
10.1007/s11138-010-0130-4
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

We conducted a series of sender–receiver experiments to study the consequences of implementing a regime of blind proficiency tests in forensic science to reduce error rates and improve the criminal justice system. Senders are our surrogate for forensic laboratories and receivers, for the judge or jury. Our experimental surrogate (random audits with a penalty) for blind proficiency tests reduced sender error rates by as much as 46% depending on the level of experimentally induced bias. When penalties improve information quality, receiver error rates fell by as much as 26% depending on the level of the sender bias. We also find that the penalty must be large relative to the payoff to induce the reduction in errors. Our results suggest that a regime of blind proficiency testing has the potential to reduce forensic science errors.

Journal

The Review of Austrian EconomicsSpringer Journals

Published: Nov 3, 2010

References

  • Identity and schooling: some lessons for the economics of education
    Akerlof, GA; Kranton, RE
  • Identity and the economics of organizations
    Akerlof, GA; Kranton, RE
  • Identity, supervision, and work groups
    Akerlof, GA; Kranton, RE

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