Date of Conferral







Eric Hickey


Psychological evaluations administered by forensic psychologist in personal injury cases are surrounded by complex issues. Although empirically-based research has legitimized that psychological damages do exist in personal injury cases there is a missing link in the way forensic psychologists are conducting these evaluations. Prior researchers suggested that some personal injury evaluations had been dismissed or overlooked due to a lack of a standard of care. Addressing the current literature, this study examined how a diverse group of 14 licensed forensic psychologists, operating in different judicial jurisdictions (Daubert, Frye, and Independent) were conducting personal injury evaluations and their perspectives on the implementation of a standard of care. A qualitative thematic analysis design was used to gain a more in-depth understanding of this phenomenon. Systems theory was the conceptual framework that informed this study and guided the methodology employed. The identified themes were organized into steps reflected in an adapted version cube model. The study promotes positive social change by fostering confidence in the field of psychology and personal injury evaluations with regard to bolstering the overall credibility, reliability, and validity of the practice and processes involved. Further, positive change can occur through the development of framework that assists in leveling the practice by keeping evaluations flexible, but consistent; basing the decision regarding implementing a standard of care on the utility of the framework, along with future findings and developments in the field.