Research Projects

Pragmatic Failure in Forensic Interviews

The goal of this project is to understand how the use of different prompts affects witnesses’ accuracy when they are asked about a target event. We want to identify how often both children and adults engage in pragmatic failure in an analogue forensic interview.

Experiences among commercially sexually exploited youth and law enforcement: Procedural justice, legitimacy beliefs, and help-seeking behavior 

The primary goal of the study is to examine commercially sexually exploited (CSE) youths’ experiences with law enforcement personnel. We seek to empirically identify law enforcement practices that bolster or impede CSE victims’ tendency to come forward to report abuse so that criminal and psychological interventions can ensue. 

Adults’ Reports of Proud and Shameful Events During Dog-Assisted Interviews 

The purpose of this study is to assess the effect of a dog’s presence as a means to enhance how forthcoming participants are while discussing proud and embarrassing emotional events. Participants may be reluctant to discuss embarrassing events, as they may be distressful to talk about. Having a dog present may relieve discomfort participants experience and offset reluctance to discuss embarrassing events. Another goal of this study is to analyze physiological responses (i.e., heart rate and blood pressure) participants have in response to discussing proud and emotional events with and without a dog present.