When hired to provide testimony on a controversial area of scientific research, I would prepare myself for court by researching extensively on the topic. According to Borgida and Fiske (2008), it is important for an expert witness to be thoroughly informed of the topic at hand and have scientific backing or facts for the case one is arguing. Conducting extensive research is important for the forensic psychologist to be competent in providing testimony on the issue. Even if the issue has controversy, the forensic psychologists need to be informed about both sides of the argument in order to address the issue in a competent way. For example, if one is hired to provide testimony concerning hypnosis, it is important for the forensic psychologists to have a strong evidence of what is known scientifically about this topic. Furthermore, one should know where there is controversy about hypnosis or where there are no facts regarding the topic. This ensures that when providing testimony, the forensic psychologist can address the issue from both angles depending on what needs to be testified (Borgida & Fiske, 2008).
Furthermore, I would present the research that has been conducted by using multiple sources of information (American Psychological Association, 2013). As a forensic psychologist, I need to avoid relying on one source of data. Use of multiple sources of data or sources would guarantee that I provide information that is credible and objective. It would also make certain that I present the research using corroborating data that is feasible and reliable. If I were using an uncorroborated date, I would ensure that I make the court know this fact. I would go further to provide the strengths and limitations of the uncorroborated data to guarantee that the argument is reliable and dependable. This ensures that I provide the data in a manner that all the facts and lack of facts be accounted for (Borgida & Fiske, 2008).
One ethical concern when discussing unsettled science is gaining and maintaining competence. In such a case, if a forensic consultant is not skilled, experienced, and trained, it is possible to provide inaccurate information. The other ethical concern is avoidance of deception. The forensic psychologist may result to deception when one wants to win a case. The forensic psychologist may find him or her deceptive to try to make an argument to go the way one wants it to go (American Psychological Association, 2013).
The major pitfall that the forensic consultant may face in court is having other psychologists oppose his arguments. This means that the forensic psychologist must be thoroughly informed and have facts to support his claims. Failure to support these claims could mean that he or she will not provide a winning argument. The other pitfall could be time limitations. When presenting the evidence, most court proceedings have time limits. The forensic consultant may find that time has elapsed before concluding important testimony. Forensic consultants need to be organized and prepare for such court proceedings using summarized data to ensure that all aspects of the testimony are covered before time elapses (American Psychological Association, 2013).
For the findings to meet the criteria of FRE 702, it is important to make sure that application of scientific knowledge is paramount. This means the large percentage of the research should have scientific backing even if there is a small degree of things that cannot be verified by facts. The other important factor is to certify that the forensic expert is skilled, trained, educated, and has experience on expert testimonies. This will help in researching scientific data and presenting it in a competent way (Borgida & Fiske, 2008).