Skip to content

Science or pseudoscience? A distinction that matters for police officers, lawyers and judges

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Scientific knowledge has been a significant contributor to the development of better practices within law enforcement agencies. However, some alleged ‘experts’ have been shown to have disseminated information to police officers, lawyers and judges that is neither empirically tested nor supported by scientific theory. The aim of this article is to provide organisations within the justice system with an overview of a) what science is and is not; b) what constitutes an empirically driven, theoretically founded, peer-reviewed approach; and c) how to distinguish science from pseudoscience. Using examples in relation to non-verbal communication, this article aims to demonstrate that not all information which is presented as comprehensively evaluated is methodologically reliable for use in the justice system.
Original languageEnglish
JournalPsychiatry, Psychology and Law
Early online date13 Aug 2019
Publication statusEarly online - 13 Aug 2019


  • Science or pseudoscience

    Rights statement: This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Psychiatry, Psychology and Law on 13/08/2019, available online:

    Accepted author manuscript (Post-print), 260 KB, PDF document

    Due to publisher’s copyright restrictions, this document is not freely available to download from this website until: 13/08/20

Related information

Relations Get citation (various referencing formats)

ID: 15146760