Forensic Psychology Lab

Improving our justice system through psychological analysis
Our research seeks to better understand forensic activities such as eyewitness accounts and lie detection to improve our justice system and also provide relief for those affected by criminal activity.

Our research

Eyewitness memory

Can eyewitnesses give accurate and reliable testimonies? Can people have false memories for events that never occurred? In our research we investigate factors that influence eyewitness memory, as well as ways to improve the reliability of their testimonies. We also study how well people can recognise and match faces that are unfamiliar to them.

Lying and lie detection

Are you good at deceiving others? How can you tell if someone is lying? Our research looks at individual differences that people have in their abilities to lie and detect lies.

Psychological effects of crime

How can we promote psychological resilience and decrease the onset of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder? What are the effects of post-incident debriefing on psychological well-being? This research investigates how someone’s psychological response to an event can influence their memory and well-being. We are also interested in how interventions such as interviews and post-incident debriefing can affect witnesses and/or victims.

Our people


PhD candidates

  • Hayley Cullen
  • Sarah Deck
  • Natali Dilevski
  • Mathew Gullota
  • Curie Suk
  • Ingird van Tongeren
  • Lilly Darke


Volunteers wanted

We are looking for motivated, hard-working students to volunteer in our Forensic Psychology Lab. We require volunteers to commit about three to five hours per week of their time to work on a number of projects (e.g., coding data, piloting studies, acting as a confederate). This provides a good opportunity for students to gain some valuable experience and knowledge about psychological research.

Spaces are limited and selection can be quite competitive. If you are interested, please send your CV to Helen Paterson (

Philanthropic Funding

Dr Helen Paterson and Dr Celine van Golde have received a philanthropic donation of $100,000 for their research on domestic violence. Helen and Celine’s research program aims to empower victims, provide them with access to psychological services, and help them gather information that will facilitate the prosecution of offenders. Many thanks to the donor, who prefers to remain anonymous.