A Practical Tool for Information Management in Forensic Decisions: Using Linear Sequential Unmasking-Expanded (LSU-E) in Casework
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Description: Forensic analysts are influenced by information from a multitude of sources. Empirical work clearly demonstrates not only the effect of biasing information on analysts’ decisions, but also how the order of examination of task-relevant and task-irrelevant information impacts human cognition and decision-making. Linear Sequential Unmasking (LSU; Dror et al., 2015) and LSU-Expanded (LSU-E; Dror & Kukucka, 2021) are examples of research-based procedural frameworks that can guide laboratories and analysts in their evaluation of and exposure to case information. Parameters, such as objectivity, relevance, and potential for bias are used to prioritize and optimally sequence the use of information. The LSU-E technique can be practically incorporated into any forensic discipline to improve decision quality by increasing repeatability and reproducibility of the results as well as transparency and reducing bias. To date, though, LSU and LSU-E implementation efforts have been limited. We present here a practical worksheet designed to bridge the gap between research and practice, and to facilitate the implementation of LSU-E.