Hagen, Margaret A.

views updated

Hagen, Margaret A.


Education: University of Washington, B.A.; Simmons College, M.B.A.; University of Minnesota, Ph.D.


Office—Department of Psychology, Boston University, 64 Cummington St., Boston, MA 02215. E-mail[email protected]


Boston University, Boston, MA, professor of psychology.


American Psychological Society, American Psychology-Law Society.


(Editor) The Perception of Pictures I: Alberti's Window, foreword by James J. Gibson, Academic Press (New York, NY), 1980.

(Editor) The Perception of Pictures II: Durer's Devices, Academic Press (New York, NY), 1981.

Varieties of Realism: Geometries of Representational Art, Cambridge University Press (New York, NY), 1986.

Whores of the Court: The Fraud of Psychiatric Testimony and the Rape of American Justice, ReganBooks (New York, NY), 1997.


Psychology researcher Margaret A. Hagen published several books in the 1980s focusing on her main area of interest: visual perception. In the early 1990s, however, an incident involving her brother sparked outrage at how the field of psychiatry is used—or abused—in and by the American legal system. Her brother was sued by an individual who had recovered "repressed memories" from over twenty years prior that he had been the cause of psychological injury. Although Hagen's brother ultimately won the case, Hagen was motivated to research how frivolous and faulty psychological testimony affects the judicial process. Whores of the Court: The Fraud of Psychiatric Testimony and the Rape of American Justice was published in 1997 and investigates the validity of subjective testimony, ultimately condemning the field of psychiatry as being unreliable as a forensic tool.

A reviewer for Publishers Weekly called Whores of the Court a "sweeping critique," further adding: "With righteous wrath and devastating wit, Hagen punctures the inflated claims of much expert testimony." Freedom Magazine reviewer Mari Wener wrote: "The book is scrupulously well-researched, and written with a clarity and wit that make it an engrossing, enjoyable read in spite of its subject matter." Writing for Issues in Child Abuse Accusations, LeRoy G. Schultz concluded: "Although the book is biting and aggressive, it is truthful, and lay people will benefit from learning the truth about much mental health expert testimony."



Issues in Child Abuse Accusations, winter-spring, 1997, LeRoy G. Schultz, review of Whores of the Court: The Fraud of Psychiatric Testimony and the Rape of American Justice.

Publishers Weekly, January 13, 1997, review of Whores of the Court, p. 61.


Boston University Web site,http://www.bu.edu/ (November 3, 2006), faculty profile of Margaret A. Hagen.

Freedom Magazine,http://www.freedommag.org/ (November 3, 2006), Mari Wener, review of Whores of the Court. *

About this article

Hagen, Margaret A.

Updated About encyclopedia.com content Print Article