About the webinar

Psychological testing, based on psychometric science, is often used in court to aid judges in making legal decisions that profoundly affect people's lives. Although judges are required by U.S. law to screen out junk science, many psychological tests that lack scientific validity are nevertheless allowed into court (Neal et al., 2019).

Australian evidence law is more liberal (Edmond et al., 2013) with no requirement for judges to screen the reliability of expert evidence. Yet it is possible that Australian courts overall have higher-quality psychological evidence than U.S. courts for a variety of reasons.

Which country's court system relies on higher-quality psychological evidence? Does the substance of evidentiary rules affect how courts use psychological assessment evidence? What could the U.S. learn from Australia's approach to and experience with psychological assessment evidence in court, and vice-versa?

About our speaker

Tess Neal is an associate professor of psychology at Arizona State University (ASU) and a founding faculty member of ASU's Law and Behavioral Science Initiative. She is a scientist, a licensed clinical and forensic psychologist, and a parent of two young children. She studies the nature and limits of expertise.

Her basic work focuses on understanding and improving human judgment processes, especially among trained experts, and her more applied work focuses on improving forensic experts’ judgments in particular. Her work has been funded by multiple grants from the National Science Foundation, and she has been awarded numerous research and teaching awards.

She serves as editor for the Journal of Personality Assessment and Psychology, Public Policy, and Law, and as an Open Science Advisor for Clinical Psychological Science. She was selected as a Fulbright Scholar in 2022 to conduct a project about how the different evidence laws of the U.S. and Australia lead to similar and different patterns of judicial decision making about psychological evidence with the potential to inform revisions to laws governing the admissibility of expert evidence in both countries.


This webinar is organised by Swinburne's Centre for Forensic Behavioural Science.

For more information, please email Dr Benjamin Spivak at bspivak@swinburne.edu.au or Brett McIvor at info-CFBS@swinburne.edu.au.

Explore other events

  • Research
    • Research Impact

    The Vanishing Criminal

    Join Professor Don Weatherburn PSM in his research into the why and how behind the unprecedented 20-year drop in crime rates recorded in every Australian state and territory from 2001 to 2021.

    Thu 10 November
    5:00 PM to 6:00 PM
    BA 302, Hawthorn campus
    Free
  • Research
    • Innovation
    • Research Impact

    Tom Spurling Oration: How different types of proximity affect the performance of innovation networks and precincts

    Our speaker Professor Ron Boschma (Utrecht University) is the leading international authority on how different forms of proximity (cognitive, organisational, social, institutional and spatial) affect firms in innovation ecosystems.

  • Thought Leadership
    • Engagement
    • Partnerships
    • Education

    Improving equity in higher education

    Join us for the next lecture from Swinburne’s Education, Experience & Employability portfolio. These lectures highlight a range of research and thought leadership relevant to the Portfolio.

    Thu 27 October
    3:00 PM to 4:00 PM
    Online and ATC101
    Free