During Autumn 2022, we delivered two CREST Round Tables in which we discussed new findings emerging from two large projects with stakeholders.
The first round table event focused on our Time Critical Questioning project in which we developed and tested a rapport-based protocol for obtaining key infomation quickly. In the second event, we presented findings from our Online Elicitation programme of work in which we examine the efficacy of rapport-building techniques in online interviews and interactions.
Both projects will pave the way for some exciting new lines of work - and we are currently writing up our findings for wider dissemination.
In November, members of HAC Lab joined colleagues from the University of Birmingham on a research visit to CAU University in Seoul for the first in-person meeting of the UK-South Korea Eyewitness Network. This trip involved seminar and conference presentations and knowledge exchange with Korean researchers, students and practitioners in the police, prison and prosecution service.
This network is funded by the ESRC and comprises researchers from the UK and South Korea, working together to improve the quality and accuracy of police lineups and witness interviewing techniques.
You can read more about the network and get involved in activities here:
This trip was a huge success - thanks to the amazing hospitality of our wonderful hosts and the commitment of everyone to the importance of high quality applied research and working together with practitioners to ensure our work addresses real world challenges.
Congratulations to HAC member, Dr Stefana Juncu, who was appointed as a Lecturer in the Department of Psychology at the University of Portsmouth in Summer 2022.
Stef's work focus on prospective memory applied in the context of Missing Persons and eyewitness identification.
You can track down her research here: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-0479-283X
Several members of the HAC lab presented at BASS22, including CREST PhD student, Lina Hillner, who presented the first empirical results from her PhD in a poster titled ‘The role of trust in mitigating reluctance to take risks in online environments’.
This topic is of great interest to both researchers and end-users, particularly as the concept of trust is often entangled (and indeed confused) with rapport in interviewing contexts. During Summer 2022, Lina also published a commenry in CREST Security Review exploring what we know about trust and rapport.
You can read her article here: https://crestresearch.ac.uk/comment/rapport-and-trust-whats-the-difference/
Invited Symposium on Interviewing and Culture
Memory, Reporting and Culture - Challenges for the Asylum Interviewing Context
Abstrct: The delivery of justice and other outcomes, including fair and just decisions in asylum cases, often relies on productive interactions between interviewees and interviewers from diverse cultural backgrounds. To date, the role of cultural context has largely been ignored by researchers in the field of investigative interviewing, despite repeated requests from practitioners and policymakers for evidence-based guidance for the conduct of interviews with people from different cultures. This presentation will explore what we know about cultural differences in human memory and communication and consider specific contextual challenges for investigative interviewing through the lens of culture. In particular, discussion will explore the role of culture in different investigative interviewing practices (e.g., rapport building, questioning techniques) and common areas of cultural mismatch between interviewer–interviewee expectations. Routes for collaboration, integration, and future research will be discussed.
Lina will be starting a CREST PhD examining trust and rapport in online information elicitation and identifying some innovative ways to examine these factors.
The SARMAC Southeast Asia Regional Meeting brought together academics, practitioners, and students in the Southeast Asia region with shared interests in applied cognitive psychology.The regional meeting was due to take place in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, in June 2020, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this two day event took place virtually in June 2021.
Big thanks to the organizing committee for organising and hosting a great event!
Read more here: https://sarmacsea.wixsite.com/my-site
In May, HAC member Carey Marr successfully defended her PhD conducted at the Universities of Portsmouth and Maastricht within the The House of Legal Psychology.
Her PhD is titled "Examining the Effects of Acute Stress on Memory in Eyewitness Settings"
Congratulations Carey! And good luck in your new post in Sydney, Australia
In February, HAC member Pamela Hanway successfully defended her PhD conducted at the University of Portsmouth and funded by the South Coast Doctoral Training Partnership.
Her PhD is titled “The Effects of Cognitive Load for Investigative Interviewers”.
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”.
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.
FESTIVE SEASON 2020
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".
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.
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!
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!
Access his slides here: https://osf.io/g4snb/
Great work, Nkansah!
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!
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".
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!)
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