Usability and Effectiveness of the Finnish Investigative Instrument of Child Sexual Abuse [post]

Alessandro Tadei, pekka santtila, Jan Antfolk
2018 unpublished
The Finnish Investigative Instrument of Child Sexual Abuse (FICSA) is a computerized tool that uses Bayesian statistics to estimate the probability that a reported child sex abuse (CSA) is true or false based on population level information regarding the correlates of CSA. FICSA can be used to assist decision-making in investigations of CSA. We compared forensic experts' and students' ability to use FICSA and whether its use affected the estimates of the probability of CSA in mock-scenarios.
more » ... use of FICSA was compared to only having access to the empirical information about CSA risk and protective factors, which FICSA is based on, and to unassisted decision-making. The 54 participants analyzed two scenarios of possible CSA and estimated the probability of the CSA allegation being true. The results show that participants using FICSA were prone to make technical mistakes that affect the correctness of the probability estimation. The performance of experts and students was equivalent in all the conditions, but in the group using FICSA, where experts tended to deviate from the probability provided by FICSA more than students. Having only access to empirical information did not improve estimates compared to unassisted decision-making. Both students and experts tended to adjust the estimates provided by FICSA downwards, that is, to decrease the probability of abuse. We conclude that FICSA can assist investigators to correctly integrate evidence and calculate probabilities but that proper training is required.
doi:10.31234/ fatcat:pktfrwpbfndnzmfxwz3rryoopi