Senior Lecturer in Psychology, The Open University

My latest research focuses on the use of social media by members of the public to conduct their own criminal investigations and find the perpetrators of crime. Also how the use of social media by witnesses can influence later police lineup identifications, and how the police can tackle this in their own investigation procedures. Another avenue is the use of social media by the police and how this can vary from force to force.

The main and continuing theme of my research is in the area of face recognition. One strand of this research is in the applied area of eyewitness identification from lineups and also biases observers make when trying to match or recognise faces. I have worked on projects investigating how children, adolescents and older adults make identifications, as these are groups that often perform poorly in these tasks, and have looked at ways to improve their performance. I've also investigated other factors that influence face identification, such as the own-age and own-race bias, and length of delay between viewing an event and subsequent identification. The eyewitness research has led to the development of new techniques to try and reduce the false identification rates that can lead to wrongful convictions. Click here for a short film about my research.

I am also part of the Forensic Psychology Research Group where I work closely with Prof Graham Pike, Dr Nicola Brace, Dr Jim Turner, Dr Hayley Ness, Dr Zoe Walkington, Dr Ailsa Strathie and Dr Gini Harrison and a member of the Open University Policing Research Consortium and the Harm Evidence and Research Collaborative (HERC).

Experience

  • –present
    Senior Lecturer in Psychology, The Open University