What Is an Expert?

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What Is an Expert

During a high-profile case, a nationally recognized expert made the error of not checking his facts. He made an observation based upon faulty information and was held responsible for his imprudence. His unintentional blunder eventually forced another trial resulting in a different verdict. As a result of this incident, the expert was also disqualified in another major trial for which he had been retained. The lesson from this is that one must never go to court unprepared. Everything an expert says in testimony is subject to rebuttal no matter how impressive his/her resume may be.

Are you an expert in some area? What does it take to become an expert? Was there a moment when you realized you were developing into an expert? Do you belong to any professional organizations that help further your expertise in an area? In this Discussion, you will analyze the qualifications of becoming an expert and the potential problems that an expert could face.

Post a response to the following:

What does it mean to be an expert in forensic psychology? How do you become an expert? What are your ethical obligations as an expert? What are the pitfalls for making a mistake as an expert? How do you maintain and renew your expertise?

Required Readings

Brodsky, S. L., & Gutheil, T. G. (2016b). Ethics in expert testimony. In, The expert expert witness: More maxims and guidelines for testifying in court (2nd ed.) (pp. 44–48). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association. doi:10.1037/14732-010

Hambrick, D. Z., Oswald, F. L., Altmann, E. M., Meinz, E. J., Gobet, F., & Campitelli, G. (2014). Deliberate practice: Is that all it takes to become an expert? Intelligence, 45, 34–45. doi:10.1016/j.intell.2013.04.001

Smith, D. (2003). 10 ways practitioners can avoid frequent ethical pitfalls. Monitor on Psychology, 34(1), 50. doi:10.1037/e300062003-027

American Psychological Association. (2015). APA’s resource for individual development plans (IDP). Retrieved from

Ericsson, K. A., Prietula, M. J., & Cokely, E. T. (2007). The making of an expert.
Harvard Business Review. Retrieved from

Fisher, S. (2016). How did you get that job?
Monitor on Psychology,
47(2). 26. Retrieved from

Mani. (2016). How to become an expert.
Entrepreneurs Journey. Retrieved from

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