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Our program provides training in a variety of areas, including advanced seminars in eyewitness testimony, child witnesses, actual innocence and wrongful convictions, basic cognitive and social psychology, and methodology, among other topics.

Curriculum

Our program requirements include 75 semester hours beyond the bachelor's degree. The program of studies, approved by the Legal Psychology Graduate Program Committee, includes:

  • Common core courses in statistics and methodology (9 credits)
  • Basic psychology, applied legal psychology, or integration of psychology and law (18)
  • Electives as approved by a graduate advisor (15)
  • Supervised research (18)
  • Master's project
  • Qualifying Exam
  • Dissertation (15)


Our committee will try to accommodate individual needs within reason, allowing some flexibility.

For more information, consult the Graduate Catalog.

Legal Psychology Research

  • Graduate Research

    Our doctoral program is designed to teach students how to conduct research on psycholegal issues. Students are expected to participate in research throughout their graduate studies under the supervision of one or more faculty members.

    Students are involved in all aspects of the research enterprise, including the development of hypotheses, preparation of research materials, data collection, data analysis, interpretation of results, presentation of the results at professional conferences and preparation of manuscripts for publication. Students work closely with faculty and other students to achieve these goals. A full-time commitment to the program requires that students be engaged in research during the academic year and the summer.

    Students also have access to a variety of research facilities, including academic computer facilities, libraries, psychology laboratories and video equipment.

  • Labs

    Many of our research activities are organized under faculty labs.

    Cognitive Laboratory - Charman: Steve Charman's research interests lie mainly in the area of eyewitness psychology - specifically, the underlying cognitive processes of eyewitnesses; various lineup procedures that may improve eyewitness performance; the forensic usefulness (and dangers) of facial composites; and the processes by which crime suspects generate alibis (and how those alibis are subsequently evaluated). His legal psychology lab includes numerous undergraduate and graduate students. He hopes that his work will help improve the accuracy of criminal trial verdicts, which, as recent DNA exoneration cases have shown, can be tragically mistaken.

    Cognitive Laboratory - Fisher: Most of Ronald Fisher's research at the Biscayne Bay Campus revolves around issues related to applying principles of cognition within a legal context. Three primary areas of research are developing the Cognitive Interview procedure to enhance eyewitness memory of crimes (and related areas such as transportation, accidents, group and personal decisions); understanding why memory is sometimes inconsistent and examining the implications for impeaching witnesses; and detecting deception via cognitive measures and manipulations.

    Interviewing Laboratory (I-Lab):  Nadja Schreiber Compo’s research in the I-Lab focuses on investigative interviewing, especially the interviewing of vulnerable witnesses such as children or the intoxicated. Schreiber Compo is interested in potentially detrimental and beneficial interviewing techniques and their underlying cognitive and social mechanisms to improve the quality and quantity of witness and victim recall. She has worked with and trained personnel from several law enforcement agencies. The I-Lab involves a variety of undergraduate and graduate projects in the area of witness interviewing.

    Social Understanding, Personal Experiences, and Relationships (SUPER Lab): Deborah Goldfarb's SUPER Lab researches issues at the intersection of developmental and legal psychology through collaborative efforts of graduate and undergraduate students and the legal community. The lab is analyzing issues related to adults’ memory for childhood trauma, children’s understanding of interactions with law enforcement, and legal treatment of social groups, among other issues.

    Theory-based Research on Interviewing, Interrogation, Intelligence-gathering, and Assessing Deception (TRIIIAD Lab): Led by Jacqueline Evans, the TRIIIAD Lab conducts experimental research on investigative interviewing in its many forms, including interviewing cooperative witnesses, interrogating uncooperative suspects and gathering intelligence from sources. In addition, research in the lab addresses the ability (or inability) to detect deception in a variety of contexts. Variables/constructs of interest include language proficiency, presence of a translator, depletion of self-regulatory resources and interviewee intoxication. Evans works on these projects with graduate and undergraduate students. She hopes that findings coming from the lab will help to inform professionals in various legal and national security contexts regarding the most effective methods to use when engaging in an investigative interview and assessing interviewee credibility.

  • 2020 Publications

    Barton, A., McLaney, S., & Stephens, D. (2020). Targeted interventions for violence among Latinx youth: A systematic review. Aggression and Violent Behavior, 53, 101434. doi:10.1016/j.avb.2020.101434

    Evans, J.R., Shaffer, S.A., & Walsh, D. (2020). Interpreters in Investigative Interviewing Contexts. In R. Bull & I. Blandon-Gitlin (Eds.), Routledge International Handbook of Legal and Investigative Psychology (pp. 133-148). New York: Routledge.

    Goldfarb, D., & Mindthoff, A. (2020). Often but not always: When does age at the time of event predict memory for sexual violence? In J. D. Pozzulo, E. Pics, & C. Sheahan (Eds.), Memory and Sexual Misconduct: Psychological Research for Criminal Justice. Taylor Francis.

    Matuku, K., & Charman, S. D. (2020). Enhancing innocent suspects’ memories for corroborating alibi evidence. Psychology, Public Policy, & Law. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1037/law0000264

    Mindthoff, A., Evans, J.R., Perez, G., Woestehoff, S.A., Olaguez, A.P., Klemfuss, J.Z., Vallano, J.P., Woody, W.D., Normile, C.J., Scherr, K.C., Carlucci, M.E., Carol, R.N., Hayes, T., Meissner, C.A., Michael, S.W., Russano, M.B., & Stocks, E.L. (2020). Juror perceptions of intoxicated suspects' interrogation-related behaviors. Criminal Justice and Behavior, 47, 222-246. doi: 10.1177/0093854819888962

    Mindthoff, A., Goldfarb, D., & Behre, K. (2020) How social science can help us understand why family courts discount women’s testimony in intimate partner violence cases. Family Court Review, 53, 243-264.

    Mindthoff, A., Malloy, L. C., & Höhs, J. (2020). Mock jurors’ perceptions and case decisions following a juvenile interrogation: Investigating the role of interested adults and confession type. Law & Human Behavior, 44, 209-222. doi: 10.1037/lhb0000371

    Vallano, J.P., Pickel, K.L., & Shambaugh, L.J. (2020). Legal Perspectives on Historical Misconduct Cases: Issues With Civil and Criminal Cases. In J. Pozzulo, E. Pica, & C. Sheahan (Eds.), Memory and Sexual Misconduct: Psychological Research for Criminal Justice (pp. 174-196). Routledge.

  • 2019 Publications

    Riggenbach, M. R., Weiser, J. N., Mosley, B. E., Hipskind, J. J., Wireman, L. E., Hess, K. L., Duffy, T. J., Handel, J. K., Kaschalk, M. G., Reneau, K. E., Rorabaugh, B. R., Norrholm, S. D., Jovanovic, T., & Zoladz, P. R. (2019). Immediate pre-learning stress enhances baseline startle response and fear acquisition in a fear-potentiated startle paradigm. Behavioural brain research, 371, 111980. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bbr.2019.111980 

    Goldfarb, D., Goodman, G. S., Larson, R. P., Eisen, M., & Qin, J.J. (2019). Long-term memory in adults exposed to childhood violence: Remembering genital contact nearly 20 years later. Clinical Psychological Science, 7, 381-39.

    Evans, J.R., Schreiber Compo, N., Carol, R.N.,Nichols-Lopez, K., Holness, H., & Furton, K.G. (2019). The impact of alcohol intoxication on witness suggestibility immediately and after a delay. Applied Cognitive Psychology, 33, 358-369.  doi: 10.1002/acp.3502

    Mindthoff, A., Hagsand, A.V., Schreiber Compo, N., & Evans, J.R. (2019). Does alcohol loosen the tongue? Intoxicated persons' willingness to report transgressions or criminal behavior carried out by themselves or others. Applied Cognitive Psychology, 33, 414-425. doi: 10.1002/acp.3480

    Mosser, A.E. & Evans, J.R. (2019). Increasing the number of contacts generated during contact tracing interviews. Memory, 27, 495-506. doi: 10.1080/09658211.2018.1529247

    Charman, S. D., Matuku, K., & Mook, A. (2019) Non‐blind Lineup Administration Biases Administrators’ Interpretations of Ambiguous Witness Statements and Their Perceptions of the Witness. Applied Cognitive Psychology. doi:10.1002/acp.3579

    Dickinson, J., Schreiber Compo, N.,Carol, R.N., McCauley, M. & Schwartz, B. (Eds.) (2019). Evidence-based investigative interviewing. Routledge, NY.

    Altman, C., McQuiston, D.,& Schreiber Compo, N. (2019). How Elevated BAC Level and Identification Format Affect Eyewitness Memory: A Field Study.Applied Cognitive Psychology. doi:10.1002/acp.3535

    Altman, C., Schreiber Compo, N., Hagsand, A.V., & Evans, J.R. (2019). State of intoxication: A review of the effects of alcohol on witnesses’ memory. In J. Dickinson, N. Schreiber Compo, R.N., Carol, M. McCauley & B. Schwartz (Eds.). Evidence-based investigative interviewing: Applying Cognitive Principles (pp. 74-92). New York: Routledge.

    Charman, S. D., Douglass, A., & Mook, A. (2019). Cognitive bias in the legal system. In N. Brewer (Ed.), Law and Psychology. New York: Guilford Press.

    Charman, S. D., Matuku, K., & Mosser, A. (2019). The psychology of alibis. In M. Miller & B. Bornstein (Eds.), Advances in Psychology and Law. Switzerland: Springer Nature.

    Goldfarb, D.,Tashjian, S., Goodman, G. S, Bederian-Gardner, D., Hobbs, S., Ogle, C., Bakanosky, S., Narr, R. K., Chae, Y., & NYTD/CYTD Research Group (2019). After child maltreatment: The importance of voice for youth in foster care. Journal of Interpersonal Violence. Advance Online Publication.

    Levine, M., Wallach, L., Levine, D., & Goldfarb, D. (2019). Psychological problems, social issues, and law (3rd ed). Minneapolis, MN: West Academic Publishing.

    Mosser, A.E. & Evans, J.R. (2019). From the police station to the hospital bed: Using the Cognitive Interview to enhance epidemiologic interviewing. In J. Dickinson, N. Schreiber Compo, R.N., Carol, M. McCauley & B. Schwartz (Eds.). Evidence-based investigative interviewing: Applying Cognitive Principles (pp. 93-115). New York: Routledge.

    Schreiber Compo, N., Vallano, J., Rivard, J., Hagsand, A, Pena, M., & Altman, C. (2019). Methods of studying eyewitness memory. In H. Otani & B. L. Schwartz (Eds.), Research Methods in Human Memory (pp. 253-266). London, UK, Routledge.

  • 2018 Publications

    Carol, R.N. & Schreiber Compo, N. (2018). The effect of encoding duration on implicit and explicit eyewitness memory. Consciousness and Cognition. doi: 10.1016/j.concog.2018.02.004

    Vredeveldt, A., & Charman, S. D., Den Blanken, A., & Hooydonk, M. (2018). Effects of cannabis on eyewitness memory: A field study. Applied Cognitive Psychology. doi: 10.1002/acp.3414

    Charman, S. D., Carol, R., & Schwartz, S.L. (2018). The effect of biased lineup instructions on witness identification confidence. Applied Cognitive Psychology, 32, 287-297. doi: 10.1002/acp.3401.

    Altman, C., Schreiber Compo, N., McQuiston, D., Hagsand, A., & Cervera, J. (2018). Witnesses’ memory for events and faces under elevated levels of intoxication. Memory. doi: 10.1080/09658211.2018.1445758

    Shaffer, S.A., & Evans, J.R. (2018). Interpreters in law enforcement contexts: Practices and preferences according to investigators. Applied Cognitive Psychology, 32, 150-162. doi: 10.1002/acp.3388

    Mindthoff, A, Evans, J.R., Perez, G.,Woestehoff, S.A., Olaguez, A.P., Klemfuss, J.Z., Normile, C.J., Scherr, K.C., Carlucci, M.E., Carol, R.N., Meissner, C.A., Michael, S.W., Russano, M.B., Stocks, E.L., Vallano, J.P., & Woody, W.D. (2018). Potential jurors’ perceptions of interrogations and confessions: Are jurors finally believing in false confessions? Psychology, Public Policy, & Law, 24, 430-448. doi: 10.1037/law0000182

  • 2017 Publications

    Evans, J.R., Schreiber Compo, N., Carol, R.N., Schwartz, B.L., Holness, H., Rose, S., & Furton, K.G. (2017). Alcohol intoxication and metamemory: Little evidence that moderate intoxication impairs metacognitive monitoring processes. Applied Cognitive Psychology. doi: 10.1002/acp.3373

    Charman, S. D., Reyes, A., Villalba, D., & Evans, J.R. (2017). The (un)reliability of alibi corroborators: Failure to recognize faces of briefly-encountered strangers puts innocent suspects at risk. Behavioral Sciences and the Law, 35, 18-36. doi: 10.1002/bsl.2264

    Rivard, J. & Schreiber Compo, N. (2017). Self-reported current practices in child forensic interviewing: Training, tools, and pre-interview preparation. Behavioral Sciences and the Law, 35, 253-268. doi: 10.1002/bsl.2290

    Charman, S. D., Kavetski, M., & Hirn Mueller, D. (2017). Cognitive bias in the legal system: Police officers evaluate ambiguous evidence in a belief-consistent manner. Journal of Applied Research in Memory and Cognition, 6, 193-202. doi:10.1016/j.jarmac.2017.02.001

    Evans, J.R., Pimentel, P.S., Pena, M.M. & Michael, S.W. (2017). The ability to detect false statements as a function of the type of statement and the language proficiency of the statement provider. Psychology, Public Policy, & Law, 23, 290-300. doi: 10.1037/law0000127

    Pena, M. M., Klemfuss, J. Z., Loftus, E. F., & Mindthoff, A. (2017, October 23). The Effects of Exposure to Differing Amounts of Misinformation and Source Credibility Perception on Source Monitoring and Memory Accuracy. Psychology of Consciousness: Theory, Research, and Practice. Advance online publication. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/cns0000137

  • 2016 Publications

    Charman, S. D., Carbone, J., Kekesie, S., & Villalba, D. (2016). Evidence evaluation and evidence integration in legal decision-making: Order of evidence presentation as a moderator of context effects. Applied Cognitive Psychology, 30, 214-225.

    Leins, D., & Charman, S. D. (2016). Schema reliance and innocent alibi generation. Legal and Criminological Psychology, 21, 111-126. doi: 10.1111/lcrp.12035

    Charman, S. D., & Quiroz, V. (2016). Blind sequential lineup administration reduces both false identifications and confidence in those identifications. Law and Human Behavior, 40, 477-487. doi: 10.1037/lhb0000197

    Schreiber, N., *Carol, R.N., *Evans, J.E., *Pimentel, P., Nichols-Lopez, K., Holness, H., Rose, S., & Furton, K. (2017). Witness memory and alcohol. The effects of state-dependent recall. Law and Human Behavior, 41, 202-215. doi: 10.1037/lhb0000224.

  • 2015 Publications

    Klemfuss, J.Z. (2014). Differential contributions of language skills to children’s episodic recall. Journal of Cognition and Development. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1080/15248372.2014.952415

    Klemfuss, J.Z., Quas, J.A., & Lyon, T.D. (2014). Attorneys’ questions and children’s productivity in child sexual abuse criminal trials. Applied Cognitive Psychology. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1002/acp.3048

    Evans, J.R., Houston, K.A., Meissner, C.A., Ross, A.B., LaBianca, J.R., Woestehoff, S.A., & Kleinman, S.M. (2014). An empirical evaluation of intelligence-gathering interrogation techniques from the United States Army Field Manual. Applied Cognitive Psychology. Advance Online Publication. doi: 10.1002/acp.3065

    Evans, J.R., & Michael, S.W. (2014). Detecting deception in non-native English speakers. Applied Cognitive Psychology, 28, 226-237. doi: 10.1002/acp.2990

    Houston, K. A., Meissner, C. A. & Evans, J.R. (2014). Psychological processes that distinguish true and false confessions. In R. Bull’s (Ed.), Investigative Interviewing (pp. 19-34). New York: Springer.

    Kelly, C.E., Redlich, A.D., Evans, J.R., & Meissner, C.A. (2014). Meta-analysis of the interview and interrogation literature. In Gerben Bruinsma & David Weisburd (Eds.), Encyclopedia of Criminology and Criminal Justice. New York, NY: Springer.

    Fisher, R. P., Schreiber Compo, N., Rivard, J., & Hirn, D. (2014). Interviewing Witnesses. In T. Perfect & S. Lindsay (Eds.), The SAGE Handbook of Applied Memory. SAGE Press. Los Angeles: SAGE (pp. 559-578).

    Hope, L., Gabbert, F., Fisher, R. P., & Jamieson, K. (2014). Protecting and enhancing eyewitness memory: The impact of an initial recall attempt on performance in an investigative interview. Applied Cognitive Psychology. DOI: 10.11002/acpp.2984

    Malloy, Quas, Lyon, Ahorn (2014). Disclosing adult wrongdoing: Maltreated and non-maltreated children's expectations and preferences. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 124, 78-96.

    Vallano, J.P. & Schreiber Compo, N. (in press). Rapport-building with cooperative witnesses and criminal suspects: A theoretical and empirical review. Psychology, Public Policy, and the Law.

    Hirn Mueller, D., Schreiber Compo, N., Molina, J., Byron, A., & Pimentel, P. (in press). Productive and counter-productive interviewing techniques: Do law enforcement investigators know the difference? Psychology, Public Policy, and the Law.

    Vallano, J.P., Evans, J.R., Kieckhaefer, J.M., & Schreiber Compo, N. (2015). Rapport-building during witness and suspect interviews: A survey of law enforcement. Applied Cognitive Psychology, 29, 369-380. doi: 10.1002/acp.3115

    Rivard, J., Pena, M. & Schreiber Compo (2016). ‘Blind’ interviewing: Is ignorance bliss? Memory.

    Hirn Mueller, D., Schreiber Compo, N., Molina, J., Bryon, A. & Pimentel, P. (2015). Best practice and problematic investigative interviewing techniques: Do police interviewers know the difference? Psychology, Public Policy, and the Law, 21, 295–308.

  • 2014 Publications

    Klemfuss, J.Z. (2014). Differential contributions of language skills to children’s episodic recall. Journal of Cognition and Development. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1080/15248372.2014.952415

    Klemfuss, J.Z., Quas, J.A., & Lyon, T.D. (2014). Attorneys’ questions and children’s productivity in child sexual abuse criminal trials. Applied Cognitive Psychology. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1002/acp.3048

    Evans, J.R., Houston, K.A., Meissner, C.A., Ross, A.B., LaBianca, J.R., Woestehoff, S.A., & Kleinman, S.M. (2014). An empirical evaluation of intelligence-gathering interrogation techniques from the United States Army Field Manual. Applied Cognitive Psychology. Advance Online Publication. doi: 10.1002/acp.3065

    Evans, J.R., & Michael, S.W. (2014). Detecting deception in non-native English speakers. Applied Cognitive Psychology, 28, 226-237. doi: 10.1002/acp.2990

    Houston, K. A., Meissner, C. A. & Evans, J.R. (2014). Psychological processes that distinguish true and false confessions. In R. Bull’s (Ed.), Investigative Interviewing (pp. 19-34). New York: Springer.

    Kelly, C.E., Redlich, A.D., Evans, J.R., & Meissner, C.A. (2014). Meta-analysis of the interview and interrogation literature. In Gerben Bruinsma & David Weisburd (Eds.), Encyclopedia of Criminology and Criminal Justice. New York, NY: Springer.

    Fisher, R. P., Schreiber Compo, N., Rivard, J., & Hirn, D. (2014). Interviewing Witnesses. In T. Perfect & S. Lindsay (Eds.), The SAGE Handbook of Applied Memory. SAGE Press. Los Angeles: SAGE (pp. 559-578).

    Hope, L., Gabbert, F., Fisher, R. P., & Jamieson, K. (2014). Protecting and enhancing eyewitness memory: The impact of an initial recall attempt on performance in an investigative interview. Applied Cognitive Psychology. DOI: 10.11002/acpp.2984

    Malloy, Quas, Lyon, Ahorn (2014). Disclosing adult wrongdoing: Maltreated and non-maltreated children's expectations and preferences. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 124, 78-96.

    Vallano, J.P. & Schreiber Compo, N. (in press). Rapport-building with cooperative witnesses and criminal suspects: A theoretical and empirical review. Psychology, Public Policy, and the Law.

  • 2013 Publications

    Klemfuss, J.Z., Milojevich, H.M., Yim, I.S., Rush, E., & Quas, J.A. (2013). Stress at encoding, context at retrieval, and children’s narrative content. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 116(3), 693-706. doi: 10.1016/j.jecp.2013.07.009

    Kieckhaefer, J., Schreiber Compo, N. & Vallano, J.P. (2013). Examining the positive effects of rapport building: When and why does rapport building benefit adult eyewitness memory? Memory, DOI: 10.1080/09658211.2013.864313

    Fisher, R. P., Vrij, A., & Leins, D. A. (2013) Does testimonial inconsistency indicate memory inaccuracy and deception? Beliefs, Empirical Research, and. In B.S.Cooper, D. Griesel, & M Ternes (Eds.) Applied issues in investigative interviewing, eyewitness memory, and credibility assessment. New York: Springer (pp. 173-189).

    Charman, S. D. (2013). The forensic confirmation bias: A problem of evidence integration, not just evidence evaluation. Journal of Applied Research in Memory and Cognition, 2, 56-58.

    Malloy, Brubacher, & Lamb (2013). "Because she's the one who listens": Children discuss disclosure recipients in forensic interviews. Child Maltreatment, 18, 245-251.

    Kieckhaefer, J., Schreiber Compo, N. & Vallano, J.P. (2013). Examining the positive effects of rapport building: When and why does rapport building benefit adult eyewitness memory? Memory.DOI: 10.1080/09658211.2013.864313

    Maloy, Shulman, & Cauffman (2013). Interrogations, confessions, and guilty please among serious adolescent offenders. Law and Human Behavior.

    Leins, D., & Charman, S. D. (in press; published online Dec 2013). Innocent alibi generation and schema use. Legal and Criminological Psychology. doi: 10.1111/lcrp.12035

    Molinaro, P., Arndorfer, A., & Charman, S. D. (2013). Appearance-change instruction effects on eyewitness lineup identification accuracy are not moderated by amount of appearance change. Law and Human Behavior, 37, 432-440. doi: 10.1037/lhb0000049

  • 2012 Publications

    Klemfuss, J.Z. & Ceci, S.J. (2012). Legal and psychological perspectives on children’s competence to testify in court. Developmental Review, 32, 268-286. doi: 10.1016/j.dr.2012.06.005 September

    Schreiber Compo, N., Evans, J.R., Carol, R., Villalba, D., Ham, L., Garcia, T., & Rose, S. (2012). Intoxicated witnesses: Better than their reputation? Law and Human Behavior, 36 (2), 77-86.

    Schreiber Compo, N., Hyman Gregory, A. R., & Fisher, R.P. (2012). Interviewing Behaviors in Police Investigators: A field study of a current U.S. sample. Psychology, Crime and Law, 18(3-4), 359-375.