My research interests broadly span the interaction between psychology and the legal system, which is sometimes referred to as forensic psychology. Mostly this research addresses the utility of psychological data, such as tests and evaluation procedures, to answer or inform important mental health and legal questions within the criminal justice system.
My research also focuses on the development and improvement of psychological assessment techniques and instruments, particularly those focusing on personality measurement in forensic and correctional settings. More specifically in relation to personality variables, of particular interest to me is the construct of psychopathy – also termed psychopathic personality disorder – and its growing impact in forensic and correctional decision-making around the world. My research along these lines has focused on more basic issues related to the assessment and measurement of psychopathic traits, as well as more applied issues such as its appropriate role in evaluating various populations within forensic and correctional settings (e.g., children, minorities) and the potentially stigmatizing effects of the label psychopath.
I also conduct research on human aggression, particularly related to the assessment and management of violence risk. This research interest cuts across several areas noted above and has focused primarily on the clinical utility of various violence risk factors in identifying those most (or least) at risk for engaging in aggressive behavior.