Margaret Bull Kovera

Margaret Bull Kovera

Photo of Margaret Bull Kovera
Presidential Scholar and Professor
Phone number: 
Room number and address: 
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 25 years, she has had continuous funding (over $2.2 million) from the National Science Foundation 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. *PhD student; †MA student; §Undergraduate Student

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

       Winner of the American Psychology-Law Society Book Award (2018).

Kovera, M. B., & *Evelo, A. J. (2020). Improving eyewitness identification evidence through double-blind lineup administration. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 29(6), 563–568.

Wells, G. L., Kovera, M. B., Douglass, A. B., Brewer, N., Meissner, C. A., & Wixted, J. (2020).  Policy and procedure recommendations for the collection and preservation of eyewitness identification evidence. Law and Human Behavior, 44(1), 3-36.

*Bergold, A. N., & Kovera., M. B. (2020). The effects of racial bias and jury diversity on juror decision making. In J. Cooper and J. Avery (Eds.), Bias in the law: A definitive look at racial prejudice in the U.S. criminal justice system. Lexington Books.

Kovera, M. B. (2020). When justice is not blind: The effects of expectancies on social interactions and judgments in legal settings. In J. P. Forgas, W. D. Crano, & K. Fiedler (Eds.), Applications of social psychology: How social psychology can contribute to the solution of real-word problems (pp. 231–249). New York: Routledge - Psychology Press.

Kovera, M. B., & Levett, L. M. (2020). Lay participation in legal decision making. In R. Bull & I. Blandon-Gitlin (Eds.), The handbook of legal and investigative psychology (pp. 163181). Routledge.

Kovera, M. B. (2019). Racial disparities in the criminal justice system: Prevalence, causes, and a search for solutions. Journal of Social Issues, 75, 1139–1164.

*Chorn, J. A., & Kovera, M. B. (2019). Variations in reliability and validity do not influence judge, attorney, and mock juror decisions about psychological expert evidence. Law and Human Behavior, 43, 542–557.

†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.

*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.

Kassin, S., & Kovera, M. B.  (2018).  Forensic personality and social psychology. In K. Deaux & M. Snyder (Eds.), Oxford Handbook of Personality and Social Psychology (2nd Edition, pp. 857–883).  New York:  Oxford University Press.

*Zimmerman, D. M., *Chorn, J. A., *Rhead, L. M., *Evelo, A. J., & Kovera, M. B. (2017).  Memory strength and lineup presentation moderate effects of administrator influence on mistaken identifications. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied, 23, 460473.

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

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. 

*Austin, J. L., & Kovera, M. B.  (2015). Cross examination educates jurors about missing control groups in scientific evidence.  Psychology, Public Policy, and Law, 21, 252264.


Honors and Awards

American Psychology-Law Society Book Award (2018)

Distinguished Lecturer, National Science Foundation Distinguished Lecture Series (2017–2018)

Distinguished Service Award, Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues (2014)

Outstanding Teaching and Mentoring in Psychology and Law (American Psychology-Law Society, 2004)

Saleem Shah Early Career Award for Excellence and Achievement in Research in Psychology and Law (2000)

American Psychology-Law Society Dissertation Award, First Place (1994)

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

In The Media
Online Presence
Faculty Website URL: 

Download C.V.