An experimental study of blind proficiency tests in forensic science

Everard James Cowan, Roger Koppl

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Scopus citations

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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)251-271
Number of pages21
JournalReview of Austrian Economics
Volume24
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2011
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Blind proficiency test
  • Epistemics
  • Experimental economics
  • Experts
  • Forensic science
  • Proficiency test

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance(all)

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'An experimental study of blind proficiency tests in forensic science'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this