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.

Narrative Abilities and Resistance to Suggestion in Monolingual and Bilingual Children: Implications for Forensic Interviews

The goal of the present study is to examine how bilingual children perform when interviewed about a personally experienced event in comparison to their monolingual peers. We will be comparing bilingual and monolingual children’s narrative quality and performance on suggestive questions. Findings will add to the body of literature on forensic interviewing practices and will help with the development of best practice protocols for interviewing bilingual children.

The Relationship between Metasuggestibility and Suggestibility

Archival analysis is being conducted on a NSF-funded project examining whether metasuggestibility predicts children’s actual memory suggestibility. The primary aim of this study is to explore whether experience with leading questions foster children’s understanding of suggestibility, or alternatively if watching another child go through an experience of acquiescing to leading questions could bolster children’s resistance to suggestions in the misinformation task. 

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.  

Accuracy of Recall of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder

Archival data analysis on a NIH funded study is examining how complete and accurate the autobiographical memories of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder compared to typically developing children.

Jurors Perceptions of Gender Non-conforming and Sexual Minority Adolescent Victims of Child Sexual Abuse