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Unpacking Workplace Stress and Forensic Expert Decision-Making: From Theory to Practice

Unpacking Workplace Stress and Forensic Expert Decision-Making: From Theory to Practice

This live webinar is scheduled for Thursday, June 27, 2024, at 11:00 a.m. CT.

Forensic science experts provide critical information to police, courts, and other stakeholders in the justice system. When doing so, experts must make crucial decisions, such as how to collect and examine the evidence, prioritize exhibits for further analysis, and communicate their findings to the fact-finders. However, different human factors, including workplace stressors, can influence experts’ decisions and may cause errors and/or financial costs to forensic service providers (e.g., in the form of talent attrition). Therefore, it is important to understand and manage workplace stress, but that is not simple or straightforward. This talk aims to unpack some of the complex effects of stress on expert decision-making in the forensic science context, which can have implications in improving well-being policies and practice in the justice system.

From a review on research from related domains, such as cognitive psychology, management, medicine, and policing, specific challenges for decision making within the forensic science context were identified and unpacked. First, three distinct yet interrelated factors were identified that need to be considered when seeking to understand the impact of stress in a forensic science workplace: nature of decision, individual differences, and context of decision. Second, workplace stress in forensic science is situated in the Challenge-Hindrance Stress Framework (CHSF)—a widely accepted and empirically-supported framework on workplace stress. It is argued that stressors in forensic science workplaces can have a positive or a negative impact, depending on the type, level, and context of stress. The talk will offer evidence from forensic casework and research on the possible impacts of workplace stress, and examples of stress management strategies will also be illustrated.

Price: $0.00