The Most Common Types of Bias in a Human Bitemark Analysis: A scoping review

Tayyaba Masood (Lead / Corresponding author), Scheila Manica, Hema Pandey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Considering bitemark evidence, forensic dentists must give testimony that could 13 have catastrophic consequences. A bitemark is often the only physical evidence on a body, 14 and odontologists' testimony should be powerful and simple to understand. Given that 15 perpetrators may be executed or imprisoned for life, a defective bitemark analysis is com-16 parable to dentists' most crucial clinical decisions regarding diagnosis. Bias affects human 17 bitemark analysis, and forensic dentists must examine its invisible impacts to avoid mak-18 ing mistakes. The aim of this study was to explore the potential of different types of bias 19 in bitemark analysis and methods during analysis by conducting a scoping review. The 20 majority of the 14 articles that were taken into consideration were published in 2019. 21 USA, UK, Australia, New Zealand, and the Netherlands published the articles. 36% of the 22 publications addressed contextual bias, while 57% acknowledged cognitive bias. Pre-23 ventive measures have been recommended to address bias in bitemark analysis. These 24 consist of limiting the availability of unrelated data during the research, employing sev-25 eral comparison samples for a more impartial assessment, and repeating the analysis 26 while being blind to past findings. These preventative measures reduce cognitive and con-27 textual bias and improve bitemark analysis in forensic investigations.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)113-125
Number of pages13
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 7 Mar 2024


  • ‘bites’
  • bite marks
  • human bite marks
  • bias
  • cognitive bias
  • contextual bias


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