If Psychology Refuses to Police Itself, Then It May Be the Courts That Force an Overhaul of Clinical Psychology

Stein, David B.; Foltz, Robert
July 2010
Ethical Human Psychology & Psychiatry;2010, Vol. 12 Issue 2, p99
Academic Journal
From its inception, psychology has sought recognition as a science, but, unfortunately, this is not happening, especially in the clinical arena. It is all too often referred to as "junk science." Eloquent arguments are constantly made defending psychology as different because it is dealing with unknowns, such as the mind and the soul. However, the fact remains that psychology is not progressing well, with extremely poor treatment efficacy rates and with its tenacious clinging to psychological tests that are repeatedly shown to be unreliable and invalid. Thus, psychology is not policing itself. However, change and reformation may be forced on it because the federal courts and 33 state courts have based new laws for more rigorous standards for trial testimony, and it appears that the new laws are aimed at cleansing the courts of "junk science," namely, psychological testimony. This article reviews the changes that thus far few psychologists, lawyers, or even judges know about. However, slowly the new laws will permeate the courts and perhaps exert a strong influence for psychology to adapt.


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