Centre for Forensic and Investigative Psychology
Harnessing, growing and disseminating our extensive expertise in forensic and investigative psychology.View content
In October 2017, the Forensic and Investigative Psychology research cluster in the Department of Psychology formally became the Centre For Forensic and Investigative Psychology. The centre was established to encourage and develop research opportunities as well as dissemination of such research, both within the University and externally. Its specific aims are:
- To foster and encourage staff and students to conduct research in forensic and investigative psychology
- To disseminate research findings beyond the academic word, to both professional and general audiences, and to this end we run a series of research talks throughout the year
- To influence policy and practice in the area of investigative and forensic psychology
In accomplishing these aims, this centre complements other crime- and justice-related areas within the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences such as the Institute of Policing, also launched in 2017.
CFIP supports both the taught postgraduate students undertaking the MSc Forensic Psychology and our postgraduate research students undertaking research in the fields of Forensic and Investigative Psychology.
The impact of our research
CFiP members will be submitting case studies to demonstrate the impact of their research for the next Research Excellence Framework, the system for assessing the quality of research in UK Higher Education institutions.
Dr Wendy Kneller: Changing perceptions of intoxicated eyewitness performance
Approximately 50% of all crimes in the UK involve intoxicated witnesses and victims. However, little is known about the reliability and completeness of their testimonies. Our research has helped inform Criminal Justice Service (CJS) agencies, demonstrating that the testimony of moderately intoxicated witnesses can be as reliable as that provided by their sober counterparts.
Our findings have enhanced practitioners’ (police, witness support agencies, Registered Intermediaries, Hampshire Office of Police and Crime Commissioner) perceptions of the capability of intoxicated witnesses' memory, and as a result, impacted upon practice and training with respect to dealing with, interviewing and obtaining identification evidence from intoxicated witnesses.
Dr Rachel Wilcock: Helping child witnesses to remember more
Child witnesses, with and without autism, are not always deemed reliable witnesses. This research evaluated interventions to support them to give reliable evidence. The research has led to an increase in requests for Registered Intermediaries (RI’s) to support vulnerable witnesses when giving evidence, more training places for RI’s in England and Wales, and to greater police awareness of the abilities of autistic children to be reliable witnesses.
For more information on this project, visit www.childwitnesses.com
Meet the team
Follow the links below to find out more about our research interests, areas of supervision and latest publications.
- Dr Rachel Wilcock (eyewitness identification, interviewing witnesses, child/vulnerable witnesses)
- Dr Beth Parsons (witnesses with mental health problems)
- Dr Sarah Bayless (intoxicated witnesses)
- Dr Debra Collins (witnesses with intellectual disabilities)
- Dr Deborah Crossland (intoxicated witnesses)
- Dr Jackie Hillman (detecting deception)
- Dr Gary Lancaster (detecting deception)
- Dr Jordan Randell (sub-clinical personality traits and eyewitness memory)
- Dr Liam Satchell (antisocial behaviour, interviewing psychology and applied methodology & statistics)
- Dr Wendy Kneller (eyewitness identification, intoxicated witnesses)
- Dr Feni Kontogianni (information elicitation)
- Dr Jenny Kontosthenous (therapeutic communities and intersubjectivity)
- Dr Genevieve Waterhouse (vulnerable witnesses)
An important and valued part of our research community, Psychology research students are studying a wide range of fascinating, often interdisciplinary, topics, supervised by our academic staff. Meet all current Psychology research students.
We run a programme of regular research seminars throughout the year, which both our own research staff and students use to disseminate their own research amongst colleagues and external partners. We also regularly invite external speakers, both practitioners and academics, to talk about their work and experiences in the field.
On 21-25 June 2021, we are proud to host the International Investigative Interviewing Research Group's 13th annual international conference and Masterclass.
Highlight recent events:
On 5 Feb. 2020, we welcomed Prof. Galit Nahari from Bar-Ilan University in Israel, who gave a talk on her research titled 'Identifying deception strategy traces: The Verifiability Approach, its theoretical stems and research prospects'. While truth-tellers usually believe that sticking with the truth is the best strategy for convincing others of their honesty, liars attempt to manipulate their fabricated accounts to make them seem truthful. Such strategic manipulations applied by liars reduce the diagnostic efficacy of verbal lie detection indicators. Yet those liars' strategies leave verbal traces, which in turn can be used for lie detection. Prof. Nahari outlined the Verifiability Approach (VA) and discussed the VA's validity and applicability as a verbal lie detection tool.
On 8 April 2019, the Centre hosted a one-day conference on Vulnerable Witnesses for invited criminal justice system practitioners, including police forces across the country, Hampshire Office of Police and Crime Commissioner, Citizens Advice Witness services, Registered Intermediaries, and the Ministry of Defence. The day focussed on presenting research on vulnerable witnesses undertaken by members of the Centre, and we welcomed keynote speakers Kev Smith from the National Crime Agency and Dr David LaRooy from Royal Holloway University London.