The Design of 'The First Experimental Study Exploring DNA Interpretation'
David H. Kaye
Pennsylvania State University, Penn State Law
October 7, 2011
Science & Justice, Vol. 52, 2012, pp. 126-127
Penn State Law Legal Studies Research Paper No. 3-2012
This letter discusses a recent study by Dror and Hampikian published in Science & Justice. The authors infer that exposure to domain-irrelevant information caused DNA analysts in a criminal case to misinterpret a complex mixture. However, the “experimental study” is closer to a small observational study than to a controlled experiment designed to detect the effect of “domain irrelevant” information on the judgments of DNA analysts. As a result, problems of confounding and small sample size stand in the way of strong claims that the "experiment" demonstrates contextual bias in this particular case.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 3
Keywords: DNA mixtures, cognitive bias, experimental design
Date posted: November 28, 2011 ; Last revised: May 17, 2014