My main research focus is on enhancing scientific methods to successfully discriminate between guilty and innocent suspects in the legal arena. One of these methods is the Concealed Information Test, that can be administered both with psychophysiological and behavioral measures to detect the presence of intimate crime details.
The research I conduct is broadly divided into three (not mutually exclusive) categories:
- External Validity: In laboratory studies, the CIT has proven to be successful in discriminating guilty from innocent suspects for a long time. However, the only country that implements this paradigm on a daily basis is Japan. My research focuses on experiments enhancing external validity and bridging the gap between research and practice.
- Knowledge Contamination: The CIT can accurately detect knowledge of crime details, but not the source of this critical information. The suspect could also be a witness for example, or critical information might be leaked through the media or during an interrogation. My research focuses on discriminating between truely guilty suspects and merely informed innocents.
- Discriminating between truthful and false confessions: The real perpetrator of a crime should have detailed knowledge about the crime scene, murder weapon and the victim. This is what we call critical crime details. An innocent suspect should not be able to know these items, but might confess to the crime due to personal and situational factors. This includes coerced and internalized false confessions due to interrogational pressure by the police. My research focuses on discriminating between truthful confessors (the real perpetrator) and false confessions from innocent, vulnerable suspects.
Are you intrigued by one of these topics? There are several internship possibilities for 2017/2018. Get in touch if you are interested!