Article ID: CBB799143959

“God Save Us from Psychologists as Expert Witnesses”: The Battle for Forensic Psychology in Early Twentieth-Century Germany. (2015)


This article is focused on the jurisdictional battle between psychiatrists and psychologists over psychological expertise in legal contexts that took place during the first decades of the 20th century. Using, as an example, the debate between the psychologist William Stern, the psychiatrist Albert Moll, and the jurist Albert Hellwig, which occurred at the International Congress for Sexual Research held in Berlin in 1926, it aims to demonstrate the manner in which psychiatrists’ responses to psychologists’ attempts to gain admittance to Germany’s courtrooms were shaped not only by epistemological and methodological objections, but also by changes to expert witnessing that had already encroached on psychiatrists’ professional territory. Building upon recent work examining the relationship between psychologists and jurists prior to the First World War, this article also seeks to examine the role of judges and lawyers in the contest over forensic psychology in the mid-1920s, arguing that they ultimately became referees in the increasingly public disputes between psychiatrists and psychologists. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved)(journal abstract)

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Authors & Contributors
Karallus, Christine
Zalashik, Rakefet
Davidovitch, Nadav
Winter, Alison
Mülberger, Annette
Li, Xin
Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences
Berichte zur Wissenschaftsgeschichte
Science in Context
Isis: International Review Devoted to the History of Science and Its Cultural Influences
History of Psychology
Ziran Kexueshi Yanjiu (Studies in the History of Natural Sciences)
RSC Publishing
Palgrave Macmillan
University of KwaZulu-Natal Press
University of Minnesota
Forensic sciences
Science and law
Police; criminal justice departments
Marbe, Karl
Lipmann, Otto
Morselli, Enrico
Palladino, Eusapia
Freud, Sigmund
Great Britain
United States
20th century, early
19th century
20th century
20th century, late
21st century

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