Margaret Bull Kovera

Margaret Bull Kovera

Photo of Margaret Bull Kovera
Presidential Scholar and Professor
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10.65.02 NB


Ph.D., Universty of Minnesota (1994, Social Psychology)
B.A., Northwestern University (1988, Psychology)


Margaret Bull Kovera received her PhD in social psychology from the University of Minnesota. For over twenty years, she has had continuous funding (over $2 million) from the National Science Foundation for over two decades for her research on eyewitness identification, jury decision-making, and scientific evidence.  Her research on these topics has been published in Law and Human Behavior, Journal of Applied Psychology, Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied, Applied Cognitive Psychology, and Psychology, Public Policy, and Law. She is a Past-President of the American Psychology-Law Society and former Editor-in-Chief of Law and Human Behavior, the premier outlet for scholarship in psychology and law. She is a Fellow of the Association for Psychological Science, the American Psychological Association, the American Psychology-Law Society (APLS), the Society for Experimental Social Psychology, the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, and the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues (SPSSI). She is the recipient of the Saleem Shah Award for Early Career Achievement in Psychology and Law (APLS and the American Academy of Forensic Psychology), the Outstanding Teacher and Mentor in Psychology and Law Award (APLS), the APLS Book Award, the Distinguished Teaching Award (John Jay College), and the Distinguished Service Award (SPSSI). She regularly serves as a consultant on change of venue motions and as an expert witness in cases involving eyewitness identification


Scholarly Work

Selected publications. Student authors appear in bold text.

Vitriol, J. A., & Kovera, M. B. (2018).  Exposure to capital voir dire may not increase convictions despite increasing pretrial presumption of guilt.  Law and Human Behavior, 42, 472-483. doi: 10.1037/lhb0000304

Modjadidi, K., & Kovera, M. B. (2018). Viewing videotaped identification procedure increases jurors’ sensitivity to single-blind lineup administration.  Law and Human Behavior, 42, 244–257. doi: 10.1037/lhb0000288

Zimmerman, D. M., Chorn, J. A., Rhead, L. M., Evelo, A. J., & Kovera, M. B. (in press).  Memory strength and lineup presentation moderate effects of administrator influence on mistaken identifications. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied.

Kovera, M. B., & Evelo, A. J. (2017).  The case for double-blind lineup administration.  Psychology, Public Policy and Law, 23, 421-437. doi: 10.1037/law0000139

Kovera, M. B. (Ed.) (2017). The psychology of juries. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association. 

Kovera, M. B., & Austin, J. L.  (2016). Juror bias: Moving from assessment and prediction to a new generation of jury selection research.  In C. Willis-Esqueda & B. H. Bornstein (Eds.), The witness stand and Lawrence S. Wrightsman, Jr. (pp. 75-94)New York: Springer. 

Kovera, M. B., & Levett, L. M.  (2015).  Jury decision making.  In B. L. Cutler & P. A. Zapf (Eds.), APA Handbook of Forensic Psychology, Vol. 2: Criminal investigation, adjudication, and sentencing outcomes (pp. 271-311).  Washington, DC: American Psychological Association. 

Austin, J. L., & Kovera, M. B.  (2015). Examining the effectiveness of cross-examination for educating jurors about scientific validityPsychology, Public Policy, and Law, 21, 252-264.  doi: 10.1037/law0000049 

Jones, A. M., & Kovera, M. B.  (2015).  A demonstrative helps opposing expert testimony sensitize jurors to the reliability of scientific evidence. Journal of Forensic Psychology Practice, 15, 401-422.

Rhead, L. M., Rodriguez, D. N., Korobeynikov, V., Yip, J. H., & Kovera, M. B.  (2015). The effects of lineup administrator influence and mortality salience on witness identification accuracy.  Journal of Forensic Psychology Practice, 15, 248-274.  doi: 10.1080/15228932.2015.1041362

Otis, C. C., Greathouse, S. M., Kennard, J. B., & Kovera, M. B.  (2014). Hypothesis-testing in attorney-conducted voir dire.  Law and Human Behavior, 38, 392-404.  doi: 10.1037/lhb0000092

Kovera, M. B. & Cutler, B. L. (2013).  Jury selection.  New York: Oxford University Press. 

McAuliff, B.D., & Kovera, M.B. (2012). Do jurors get what they expect? Traditional versus alternative forms of children’s testimony. Psychology, Crime and Law, 18, 27-47.  doi: 10.1080/1068316X.2011.613391.

Greathouse, S. M., Sothmann, F. C., Levett, L. M., & Kovera, M. B.  (2011). The potentially biasing effects of voir dire in juvenile waiver cases.  Law and Human Behavior, 35, 427-439.  doi: 10.1007/s10979-010-9247-z

Greathouse, S. M., Sothmann, F. C., Levett, L. M., & Kovera, M. B.  (2011). The potentially biasing effects of voir dire in juvenile waiver cases.  Law and Human Behavior, 35, 427-439.  doi: 10.1007/s10979-010-9247-z

Cutler, B. L., & Kovera, M. B. (2011).  Expert psychological testimony.  Current Directions in Psychological Science, 20, 53-57. doi: 10.1177/0963721410388802

Area of Expertise

Most requested topics by media

Courts, Procedural Justice & Sentencing
Memory, Eyewitness ID & Interrogation / False Confessions

Faculty Expertise: topics/keywords

eyewitness identification, jury decision making, jury selection, scientific evidence

Online Presence
Faculty Website URL: 

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