Welcome to our new CREST Postdoctoral Researcher!

Welcome to Dr Ale de la Fuente Vilar who has been appointed as the CREST postdoctoral researcher working on our new Online Elicitation programme.  Delighted to have you on the team, Ale!

You can read more about this funded project here: tinyurl.com/17s072xi

Read more about the Centre for Research and Evidence on Security Threats here: https://crestresearch.ac.uk/


On 22 January, HAC member Nkansah Anakwah successfully defended his PhD conducted at the Universities of Portsmouth and Maastricht within the The House of Legal Psychology.

His PhD is titled “Beyond WEIRD witnesses: Eyewitness memory reports in cross-cultural contexts”.

Congratulations Nkansah!


New paper published applying what we know about memory to contact tracing during the COVID-19 pandemic:

Garry, M., Hope, L., Zajac, R., Verrall, A. J., & Robertson, J. M. (2020). Contact Tracing: A Memory Task With Consequences for Public Health. Perspectives on Psychological Science. https://doi.org/10.1177/1745691620978205 

In the battle for control of coronavirus disease-19 (COVID-19), we have few weapons. Yet contact tracing is among the most powerful. Contact tracing is the process by which public-health officials identify people, or contacts, who have been exposed to a person infected with a pathogen or another hazard. For all its power, though, contact tracing yields a variable level of success. One reason is that contact tracing’s ability to break the chain of transmission is only as effective as the proportion of contacts who are actually traced. In part, this proportion turns on the quality of the information that infected people provide, which makes human memory a crucial part of the efficacy of contact tracing. Yet the fallibilities of memory, and the challenges associated with gathering reliable information from memory, have been grossly underestimated by those charged with gathering it. We review the research on witnesses and investigative interviewing, identifying interrelated challenges that parallel those in contact tracing, as well as approaches for addressing those challenges.


After a long and challenging year, HAC Lab celebrated with a virtual murder mystery! With lots of laughs and some atrocious acting (yes, you Sister Holly Lewya), we used our finely honed investigsative psychology skills to identify the cunning and duplicitious perpetrator in our midst!

Roll on getting together in 3D in 2021!


On 20 November 2020, HAC Lab member Char Hudson successfully defended her PhD thesis titled "Fool me once, fool me twice:  The relationship between statement consistency and veracity across repeated recall".

Congratulation, Char! 


On 14 October, HAC-member Alejandra de la Fuente Vilar successfully defended her PhD conducted at the Universities of Maastricht and Gothenburg and completed her Joint Doctoral Degree at The House of Legal Psychology. Her PhD work focused on investigative interviews with uncooperative witnesses, examining interviewing strategies used to overcome resistance and gain witness cooperation as well as how  lack of cooperation affect information disclosure and witness memory. 

Congratulations Ale!


On 18 Septmeber, Sergii Yaremenko completed his (socially distanced) public defense at Maastricht University and thereby completed the requirements for a Dual Doctorate from The House of Legal Psychology. 

Congratulations again, Sergii! 

JUNE 2020

On 11th June, Stefana Juncu presented her research examining ways to improve prospective person memory in Missing Person Appeals at Z-TARMAC.

Do image variability and names in missing person appeals improve prospective person memory?

Prospective person memory is implicated in searches for missing or wanted individuals. We investigated whether prospective person memory is improved by associating the target of the search with a name and providing photos that reflect variation in the search target’s appearance. Participants (N = 242) studied three photographs of each target, taken either at the same event (low variability) or at different events (high variability). For half of the participants, a name was presented alongside the photographs. Both names and high variability photos improved discriminability, suggesting that public appeals for a missing or wanted person should include a name and use images that are representative of the person’s variability in appearance across different contexts. 


Well done, Stef!

May 2020

On 19th May, Renan Saraiva successfully defended his PhD on 'The Role of Metamemory in Eyewitness Testimony' in an online public defense held at the University of Maastricht.

He has now completed both defenses required as part of the EMJD programme of the House of Legal Psychology for award of a Dual PhD.

Congratulations Renan!

May 2020

On 7th May 2020, Nkansah Anakwah presented his PhD research on Eyewitness Memory Reports across Cultures at the first online psychology and law conference, Z-PLS, organised by Henry Otgaar (Maastricht/Leuven), Irena Boskovic (Rotterdam) and Ivan Mangiulli (Leuven). About 150 colleauges from all round the world attended online.

Nkansah presented new findings from his recent study which asked 'Is there an authority effect in eyewitness memory reports provided by witnesses from different cultures?'

Access his slides here: https://osf.io/g4snb/

Access his previous published research on this topic here:


Great work, Nkansah!

December 2019

In December 2019, Lorraine Hope was invited as Visiting Professor for the Global Criminology Programme in the Faculty of Law at the University of Leuven in Belgium. She visited for two weeks in December and delivered a 6-lecture course on Investigative Interviewing: Psychology and Practice.  She also spent time with CELL - the Criminological and Experimental Psychology Legal Lab, led by Henry Otgaar (https://celleuven.wixsite.com/cell).  Some great discussions and super fun to meet students and hear about some very interesting work!

Thanks for being excellent hosts!

November 2019

In November 2019, we celebrated when Erasmus Mundus Doctoral programme student (and HAC Lab member!) Sergii Yaremenko successfully defended his PhD thesis titled "Time of Day Optimality Effects on Eyewitness Memory Performance".

Congratulation, Sergii! 

September 2019

In September 2019, Renan Saraiva successfully defended his PhD thesis titled " The Role of Metamemory in Eyewiness Memory Performance".  Renan waa an Erasmus Mundus Doctoral programme student - and is now a lecturer in Psychology at the University of Portsmouth (and continued HAC Lab member!) 

Congratulation, Renan! 

The HAC Lab is led by Professor Lorraine Hope who has been based in the Department of Psychology at the University of Portsmouth since 2004. Read more here


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