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Organizational and Human Factors Affecting Forensic Decision-Making: Workplace Stress and Feedback

Almazrouei, MA; Dror, IE; Morgan, RM; (2020) Organizational and Human Factors Affecting Forensic Decision-Making: Workplace Stress and Feedback. Journal of Forensic Sciences 10.1111/1556-4029.14542. (In press). Green open access

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Abstract

Although forensic examiners operate in a stressful environment, there is a lack of understanding about workplace stress and feedback. These organizational and human factors can potentially impact forensic science judgments. In this study, 150 practicing forensic examiners from one laboratory were surveyed about their experiences of workplace stress, and the explicit and implicit feedback they receive. Forensic examiners reported that their high stress levels originated more from workplace-related factors (management and/or supervision, backlogs, and the pressure to do many cases) than from personal related factors (family, medical, and/or financial). The findings showed that a few (8%) of the forensic examiners sometimes felt strong implicit feedback about what conclusions were expected from them and that some (14%) also strongly felt that they were more appreciated when they helped to solve a case (e.g., by reaching a "match" as opposed to an "inconclusive" conclusion). Differences were found when comparing workplace stress and feedback levels across three core forensic science fields (forensic biology, chemistry, and latent prints) and across career stages (early, mid, and late). Gaining insights into the stress factors within a workplace and explicit and implicit feedback has implications for developing policies to improve the well-being, motivation, and performance of forensic examiners.

Type: Article
Title: Organizational and Human Factors Affecting Forensic Decision-Making: Workplace Stress and Feedback
Location: United States
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1111/1556-4029.14542
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1556-4029.14542
Language: English
Additional information: © 2020 The Authors. Journal of Forensic Sciences published by Wiley Periodicals LLC on behalf of American Academy of Forensic Sciences 1 This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Keywords: feedback, forensic decision-making, forensic science, human factors, implicit feedback, well-being, workplace stress
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > Dept of Security and Crime Science
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10109046
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