Photo of Dr. Kovera
Margaret Bull
Presidential Scholar and Professor
Phone number
Room number
10.65.02 NB

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


Margaret Bull Kovera is a Presidential Scholar and Professor in the Psychology Department. She is an internationally recognized expert on eyewitness identification and legal decision making. For over twenty-five years, she has had continuous funding (over $2.8 million) from federal agencies, including the National Science Foundation and the Bureau of Justice Assistance, for her research on eyewitness identification, jury decision-making, and scientific evidence.  Her research on these topics has been published in Law and Human BehaviorJournal of Applied PsychologyJournal of Applied Research on Memory and Cognition, and Psychology, Public Policy, and Law. Her book, The psychology of juries (published by the American Psychological Association), received the American Psychology-Law Society Book Award.

Kovera 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 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), Distinguished Teaching Award (John Jay College), Outstanding Scholarly Mentor 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.

Professional Memberships

American Association for the Advancement of Science

American Psychological Association, Fellow

American Psychology-Law Society, Fellow

Association for Psychological Science, Fellow

European Association for Psychology and Law

Society of Experimental Social Psychology, Fellow

Society for Personality and Social Psychology, Fellow

Society for the Psychological Study of Culture, Ethnicity, and Race

Society for Applied Research in Memory and Cognition

Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues, Fellow

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).

Katzman, J.* & Kovera, M.B. (2023). Potential causes of racial disparities in wrongful convictions based on mistaken identifications: Own-race bias and differences in evidence-based suspicion. Law and Human Behavior, 47(1), 23–35.  

Kovera, M. B., & Katzman*, J. A. (2022). Diversifying the bench: A commentary on Berryessa, Dror, and McCormack (2022). Legal and Criminological Psychology.

Fessinger*, M. B., & Kovera, M. B. (2022). From whose perspective? Differences between actors and observers in determining the voluntariness of guilty pleas. Law and Human Behavior, 46(5), 353–371.   

Bergold*, A. N. & Kovera, M. B. (2022). Diversity’s impact on the quality of jury deliberation. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 48(9), 1406–1420.

Katzman*, J., & Kovera., M. B. (2022). Evidence strength (insufficiently) affects police officers' decisions to place a suspect in a lineup. Law and Human Behavior, 46(1), 30–44.   

Kovera, M. B., & Evelo*, A. J. (2021). Diversity will benefit eyewitness science. Journal of Research in Applied Memory and Cognition, 10(3), 363–367.

Kovera, M. B., & Evelo*, A. J. (2021). Eyewitness identification in its social context. Journal of Applied Research in Memory and Cognition, 10(3), 313–327.

Perillo*, J. T., Perillo*, A., Despodova*, N. & Kovera, M. B.  (2021). Testing the waters? An investigation of the impact of hot tubbing from referral through testimony. Law and Human Behavior, 45(3), 229–242.

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.

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.



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)