Forensic and Social Psychology


The relationship between psychology and the legal system plays a critical role in the implementation of justice.  Exploring a range of issues that impact the determination of guilt or innocence, scholars at John Jay College are studying some of the dynamics underlying jury selection, eye-witnesses identification, confessions, and decision-making processes. 

Angela Crossman (Department of Psychology) researches memory development, suggestibility, deception, eyewitness identification accuracy, and the accuracy and credibility of children's testimony.

Jill Grose-Fifer (Department of Psychology) researches adolescent brain development with a view to better understanding increased risk-taking in this population. Other projects include using the EEG for deception detection, and investigations of emotional face processing in adolescents.

Maria Hartwig (Department of Psychology) studies the psychology of deception and its detection, interviewing to detect deception and truth, and the social cognitive psychology of guilt and innocence.  In experimental studies she examines strategies of innocent and guilty suspects to be believed, and the success of these efforts depending on the interview strategies of lie-catchers.

Saul Kassin (Department of Psychology) is a Distinguished Professor and most cited researcher in psychology and the law, as well as evidence, trial procedure and jury decision-making, eyewitness identification and testimony, and police interrogation and confessions.

Margaret Bull Kovera (Department of Psychology)is a leading researcher in jury decision-making and eyewitness identification, as well as how legal decision-makers evaluate scientific evidence, the effects of voir dire and jury selection on jury decisions, and the effects of double-blind lineups on the reliability of eyewitness identifications.  Her research is continuously funded by the National Science Foundation.

Steven D. Penrod (Department of Psychology) is a Distinguished Professor who is a leading researcher in eye witness identification procedures and accuracy.  He has published extensively on a range of issues including jury decision-making and forensic methodologies.

Abby Stein (Department of Interdisciplinary Studies) researches states of consciousness during violent perpetration and victimization, as well as criminal psychopathology, and child maltreatment.